Op-Ed Forecast

Economic Forecasts

Forecasts by Peter Morici — professor emeritus at the University of Maryland Smith School of Business, former Chief Economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission, and six-time winner of the MarketWatch best forecaster award. (See his economic analysis.)


                                                                    Forecast       Prior Observation       Consensus

Week of August 20
August 22
Existing Home Sales-July 5.509M 5.380 5.425
August 23
Initial Unemployment Claims 215K 212 215
FHFA Home Price Index-June 0.5% 0.2 0.3
PMI Manufacturing Flash Index 55.3 55.3 55.2
PMI Services Flash 57.0 56.0 56.0
New Home Sales-July 649K 631 648
Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index 25 23
August 24
Durable Goods Sales-July 0.3% 0.8 -0.2
Week of August 27
August 27
Chicago Fed National Activity Index-July 0.35 0.43
Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index 28.0 32.3
August 28
International Trade in Goods-July -$69.5B -68.3
Wholesale Inventories-July (a) 0.1% 0.1
S&P Case/Shiller Index-June
Twenty City M/M 0.3% 0.2
Twenty City M/M – SA 0.8 0.7
Twenty City Y/Y 6.6 6.5
Consumer Confidence-August 127.4 127.4
Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index 19.0 20.0
August 29
GDP – Q2 (p) 4.0% 4.1
GDP Price Deflator 3.0 3.0
Pending Home Sales Index-July 107.0 106.9


Morici Judged Best Economic Forecaster Again

Peter Morici, Ph.D., a professor emeritus at the business school at the University of Maryland, is the winner of the MarketWatch Forecaster of the Month contest for July. It’s the sixth time Morici has won the award.

(His forecasts are published weekly on this page.)

“The economy will finish the year strong,” “growing at a 3 percent for the second half of the year,” Morici said. Next year will be more of the same. The big question is: “Was this just a temporary jolt or will it continue at a high pace?”

The economist believes corporate tax cuts will accelerate growth “in the neighborhood of 3 percent going forward.”

“It hinges not so much on the availability of capital, but on the rate of return,” he said.

But he contends President Trump is mismanaging the trade war, showing favoritism to industries such as steel. ”

The White House is naive about China,” he said. “We’ll have to hit China much harder.”

Dr. Morici says three sectors are troublesome: Health care, higher education, and the auto industry. He contends the sectors would become more efficient with bipartisan solutions.

He opposed the 14 other competing economist with his 0.1 percent forecast for the consumer price index, and he accurately forecast the nation’s product growth.

He also accurately forecast the trade deficit, durable goods orders, and the consumer confidence index.

Morici’s Forecast Number as Reported*
ISM 58.1% 60.2%
Nonfarm payrolls 190,000 213,000
Trade deficit -$43.3 billion -$43.1 billion
Retail sales 0.6% 0.5%
Industrial production 0.5% 0.6%
Consumer price index 0.1% 0.1%
Housing starts 1.320 million 1.173 million
Durable goods orders 1.5% 1.0%
Consumer confidence index 127.2 127.4
New home sales 670,000 631,000
Gross domestic product 4.1% 4.1%
*Subject to revision
Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.