Friday, May 23, 2014

Goldman's Hatzius: Rationale for Economic Acceleration Is Intact

by Calculated Risk on 5/23/2014 09:48:00 PM

Excerpt from Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius research: Sticking with Stronger

We currently estimate that real GDP fell -0.7% (annualized) in the first quarter, versus a December consensus estimate of +2½%. On the face of it, this is a large disappointment. It raises the question whether 2014 will be yet another year when initially high hopes for growth are ultimately dashed.

Today we therefore ask whether our forecast that 2014-2015 will show a meaningful pickup in growth relative to the first four years of the recovery is still on track. Our answer, broadly, is yes. Although the weak first quarter is likely to hold down real GDP for 2014 as a whole, the underlying trends in economic activity are still pointing to significant improvement.
The basic rationale for our acceleration forecast of late 2013 was twofold—(1) an end to the fiscal drag that had weighed on growth so heavily in 2013 and (2) a positive impulse from the private sector following the completion of the balance sheet adjustments specifically among US households. Both of these points remain intact.
I also remain optimistic that growth will pickup - I touched on this in February: Reasons for a 2014 Pickup in Economic Growth Intact