Fourth-quarter 2022 GDP: What economists are expecting

Fourth-quarter 2022 GDP: What economists are expecting

Economic progress is predicted to have slowed barely within the fourth quarter however was nonetheless stable, pushed by a robust shopper.

Economists might be finding out Thursday’s report on U.S. gross home product fastidiously for indicators of how sturdy or weak the buyer really was on the finish of 2022. Retail gross sales recommend spending fell off sharply because the 12 months got here to an finish. GDP is reported at 8:30 a.m. ET.

According to Dow Jones, economists anticipate that U.S. gross home product grew by 2.8% within the fourth quarter, down from the 3.2% pace in the third quarter.

While economists see a robust fourth quarter, they are divided on the place the financial system goes from right here and a key’s the buyer. Some say the sharp 1.1% drop in December retail sales exhibits the buyer pulled again on the finish of the quarter, probably a prelude to recession. However, others say it is too quickly to rely the buyer out, and the financial system may nonetheless keep away from a contraction.

“I do know the consensus view is recession is imminent, however I’m skeptical of that,” stated Amherst Pierpont chief economist Stephen Stanley. If there’s a recession, he expects it could be extra probably in 2024. “I feel we stumble via 2023.”

But Kevin Cummins, NatWest chief U.S. economist, stated he sees a recession on the horizon and he has penciled in a 1% decline in first-quarter GDP, after an estimated 3.2% achieve within the fourth quarter.

He stated the Federal Reserve’s charge hikes have a lagged impact on the financial system, they usually have already despatched housing into a recession. The slowdown in residential funding has taken a full proportion level off of progress within the fourth quarter, he stated.

“Real export progress goes to be weak. Inventories have been rebuilt sufficient that you just’re not going to get a lot juice from that,” he stated. “It simply looks like all the foremost parts in GDP are all on the identical aspect going ahead, pointing to weaker progress.”

Cummins stated the buyer was nonetheless sturdy to start with of the fourth quarter. “But the momentum since then has weakened fairly noticeably,” he stated. “It looks like there’s going to be a fairly large gap to dig out of the place you ended the fourth quarter. So the primary quarter goes to start out fairly weak.”

KPMG’s chief economist Diane Swonk stated the buyer slowed and so did the momentum within the financial system on the finish of the fourth quarter. She expects a shallow recession this 12 months.

“Fourth quarter-to-fourth quarter progress is about 0.8%. Year-over-year, it is about 2%. We ended 2021 on such a robust observe after nearly 6% progress,” she stated. “Fourth quarter-to-fourth quarter is extra about momentum, and that slowed regardless of the 4.5 million paychecks we created.”

The shopper powers two-thirds of the U.S. financial system so consumption is a serious swing consider GDP, which measures the worth of the ultimate items and providers produced within the U.S. financial system.

Michael Gapen, Bank of America chief U.S. economist, stated he has pushed again his view on when a recession would possibly begin to the second quarter. He expects to see a still-strong shopper within the fourth quarter, including that the decline in December retail gross sales wasn’t an correct reflection of shopper spending, which can have been introduced ahead within the quarter.

“The sign needs to be consumption held up within the quarter. The open query is how a lot did private spending fade into the tip of the 12 months. Was it only a items story or was it a providers story too?” Gapen stated. “That will feed your narrative of whether or not the slowdown has broadened.”

The Federal Reserve may even be watching to see how nicely the buyer is holding up when the central financial institution meets subsequent week, Gapen stated. He expects it to boost its fed funds goal by one other quarter level.

“We’ve been saying in current months that the slowdown ought to unfold past housing and into manufacturing. … That sign is obvious, and it is smart to me. The sign round consumption has nonetheless been fairly good, and you’ll’t get a recession till consumption rolls over,” stated Gapen. “That’s why we have to see the composition of the info to see momentum at year-end.”

Stanley stated he thinks a recession might be postpone as a result of the buyer will proceed to be sturdy and the employment outlook is nice.

“I feel the financial system within the brief time period proves extra resilient. … There’s an enormous debate about how a lot of that cushion has been exhausted, however I feel households are nonetheless sitting on an enormous quantity of liquid belongings that they will spend,” Stanley stated. “I don’t anticipate a recession this 12 months. If we’ll get one, it is extra prone to are available in 2024, at which level households would have drawn down extra of the pandemic cushion and you’ll have an prolonged interval of a restrictive financial coverage.”

Some market strategists see a robust fourth quarter as one other signal the financial system may keep away from falling into recession, and a better-than-expected report may reinforce that view.

“I feel it actually begins to construct a case for a delicate touchdown, or if we now have recession it is a milder recession than what individuals had been considering up to now,” stated Jim Caron, head of macro methods for international fastened earnings at Morgan Stanley Investment Management.