Forecasters Revise Up Real GDP Growth for Second Half of 2020; Revise Down Growth for First Half of 2021

The 22 participants in the December Livingston Survey nearly doubled their forecasts for the second half of 2020 compared with their projections in the June 2020 survey. The forecasters, who are surveyed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia twice a year, expect an increase of 18.0 percent (annualized) in real GDP during the second half of 2020. They project 2.9 percent growth (annualized) over the first half of 2021, marking a downward revision from 7.2 percent in the previous survey. The forecasters peg growth at an annual rate of 3.7 percent in the second half of 2021. The forecasters predict a lower unemployment rate compared with their expectations in June. In the upcoming year, they see the unemployment rate steadily decreasing from 6.7 percent in December 2020 to 5.5 percent in December 2021.

The Philadelphia Fed’s Livingston Survey is the oldest survey of economists’ expectations. The survey was started in 1946 by the late columnist Joseph A. Livingston. It summarizes the forecast of economists from industry, government, banking, and academia. It is published twice a year, in June and December.

Return to the main page for the Livingston Survey.