NABE Outlook Survey

October 2023

NABE Panelists Slightly More Optimistic in October;
Majority Put Odds of Recession at Less than 50 Percent

The October 2023 NABE Outlook presents the consensus macroeconomic forecast of a panel of 40 professional forecasters. The survey, covering the outlook for 2023 and 2024, was conducted September 15-25, 2023.The NABE Outlook Survey originated in 1965, and is one of three surveys conducted by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE); the others are the NABE Business Conditions Survey and the NABE Economic Policy Survey. Founded in 1959, the National Association for Business Economics is the professional association for those who use economics in their work. NABE has over 2,900 members and 44 chapters nationwide. Dana M. Peterson (chair), The Conference Board; Jack Kleinhenz, CBE, National Retail Federation; Brent Meyer, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; Yelena Maleyev, CBE, KPMG; David Bowers, Absolute Strategy Research Ltd; and Ryan Sweet, Oxford Economics, conducted the analysis of survey responses for this report. The views expressed in this report are those of the panelists, and do not necessarily represent the views of their affiliated companies or institutions. This report may be reproduced in whole or in part with appropriate citation to NABE.

SUMMARY: “U.S. economic growth projections are stronger for 2023, but panelists expect moderation in 2024,” said NABE President Julia Coronado, founder and president, MacroPolicy Perspectives LLC. “Participants anticipate further slowing in inflation, excluding food and energy costs, but doubt it will reach the Fed’s 2% target before year-end 2024. Still, a majority of the panel indicates interest rate cuts will begin in the first half of 2024. While most respondents expect an uptick in the unemployment rate going forward, few anticipate it will exceed 5%.”

“Survey participants continue to believe the Fed is central to the realization of both downside and upside risks to the U.S. economy,” added NABE Outlook Survey Chair Dana M. Peterson, chief economist, The Conference Board. “Regarding a potential financial crisis, respondents still point to the domestic banking sector as the primary catalyst. Fiscal policy is expected to boost growth, while student loan repayments are anticipated to be a drag on the economy. Fewer respondents than in the previous survey expect a recession within the next 12 months, with most assigning a probability of 50% or less.”