Business economists lower national growth forecasts due to delta variant

The nation’s business economists now expect slower economic growth this year due to the widespread delta variant of the coronavirus, while also saying the economy could improve more quickly next year as vaccinations become more accepted.

In a survey being released later today, the National Association for Business Economics found that its panel now expects full-year economic growth of 5.6%, down from a forecast of 6.7% growth in NABE’s previous survey in May. However, economists raised their forecast for 2022 economic growth to 3.5% from a previous outlook of 2.8%. 

The NABE’s findings are based on the responses of 47 forecasters earlier this month.

Inflation should remain at elevated levels through the fourth quarter before moderating next year, the panelists predict. Consumers have faced sharply higher prices for goods and services this year as businesses deal with an unprecedented jump in wholesales prices.

While NABE’s survey now sees inflation coming in this year at a hot 5.1% year-over-year, economists appear to believe the higher prices will mostly prove temporary. Inflation is expected to moderate next year to a level of 2.4%. Read the full story.