FT-IGM February Survey of Macroeconomists

Survey taken last week, published today here. The FT-IGM Survey of Macroeconomists median forecast implies this path for GDP:

Figure 1: GDP (black), FT-IGM survey median (large light blue square), and 10th/90th percentile (light blue +), and Survey of Professional Forecasters February mean (red), all in billions Ch.2012$ SAAR. NBER defined recession dates peak-to-trough shaded gray. Source: BEA, Q4 2nd release, FT-IGM survey, Philadelphia Fed, NBER, and author’s calculations.

The FT-IGM survey was conducted on the eve of the Russian invasion of Ukraine (21-23 February). It’s interesting to see how this information was incorporated into the assessment (lots of other data came in between the early December and late February surveys, including the Q4 advance GDP release).

Figure 2: GDP (black), FT-IGM survey median response from February (large light blue square), and from December 2021 (small light blue square), and Survey of Professional Forecasters February mean (red), all in billions Ch.2012$ SAAR. Source: BEA, Q4 2nd release, FT-IGM survey, Philadelphia Fed, NBER, and author’s calculations.

My reasoning for downshifting the estimated growth was obvious, given that I was almost 100% convinced by Tuesday that an invasion was coming. Then, higher oil prices induce a direct contractionary effect via supply shock, and a tighter monetary policy. (WTI is now bumping around $100/bbl).

Economists in the survey raised their estimates of inflation, as noted in the FT article describing the survey results; my estimate went up because of the persistence of inflation above and beyond what I’d anticipated; but it also went up given elevated oil prices.

Source: FT, February 28, 2022.