GDP Forecasts: Q1 and 2021

Some forecasters are increasing their 2021 forecasts significantly, and see possible further upside. However, there is ongoing concern about the pandemic, and the impact of the COVID variants.

From Merrrill Lynch on 2021:

We have become increasingly convinced of the prospects for exceptional growth this year. We came into the year with an above-consensus forecast of 4.5% which was boosted to 5.0% upon the earlier passage of stimulus. As we have been warning, we are now taking another leap forward and forecasting 6.0% growth this year [Jan 29 estimate] emphasis added

From Goldman Sachs on 2021:

[O]ur 2021 growth forecast—which currently stands 2½pp above consensus at +6.6% on a full-year basis … there are significant upside risks as well. [Jan 29 estimate]

From the NY Fed Nowcasting Report

The New York Fed Staff Nowcast stands at 6.5% for 2021:Q1. [Jan 29 estimate]

And from the Altanta Fed: GDPNow

The initial GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2021 is 5.2 percent on January 29. [Jan 29 estimate]