IMF WEO on US GDP

The IMF’s World Economic Outlook January update is out, with some slight upward revisions to world output projection growth for 2023, and more so to US and China.

Figure 1: GDP as reported (black), IMF WEO update (sky blue triangles), WSJ January survey mean (teal), and GDPNow as of 1/27 (red square), all in billions Ch.2012$ SAAR. Source: BEA 2022Q4 advance, IMF WEO January update, WSJ January survey, Atlanta Fed, and author’ calculations.

The IMF forecast for US GDP is somewhat more optimistic than what Wall Street economists (as represented by the WSJ January survey). With only Q4/Q4 forecast growth rates reported, it’s hard to know whether a recession is projected by the IMF staff (especially if using the standard NBER criterion based on multiple series, rather than a 2-quarter GDP-based rule). The IMF does indicate a global recession is not projected, although growth will definitely be sub-par.