Tuesday, August 18, 2020


Professional Forecasters' Outlook - August Update

On May 14 I posted a plot of the distribution of forecasts from the Wall Street Journal's monthly survey of economists. Here is the history of these plots, for surveys from May, June, July, and August, in reverse chronological order. 

The survey comes out around the 12th of the month. Changes in the outlook represent becoming more optimistic, as they were in June and July, or less, as they are in August. The August forecasts are about back to the gloomy outlook in May. 

The spread of the distribution of forecasts has tightened since May. However, the spread of the forecast doesn't capture uncertainty - it is just the dispersion of the point forecasts, not a representation of the composite uncertainty about the economists' forecasts.


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