The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model estimated a growth rate of 7.6% for the first quarter of 2023, putting the US on track for its strongest full-year growth since 1984. However, there are still risks to the outlook that must be considered. The omicron variant has shown that the virus can still surprise us, and inflation remains high. Additionally, the labor market is tight and major geopolitical risks loom, including tensions between Ukraine and Russia and with China over Taiwan.
Despite these challenges, forecasters must continue their work and make predictions about the future. The past year has shown that even when the outlook is for modest growth, anything can happen. With strong growth projected and the delta variant in the rearview mirror, it will be interesting to see what happens next. As Yogi Berra once said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”