In addition to their annual forecasts, we regularly ask our country panellists to provide short-term quarterly economic forecasts for the next 8 quarters. We undertake special surveys of quarter-by-quarter forecasts across our publications Consensus Forecasts – G7 and Western Europe, Asia Pacific Consensus Forecasts, Latin American Consensus Forecasts and Eastern Europe Consensus Forecasts at regular intervals throughout the year and the resulting tables and analysis are displayed in both the hard-copy and PDF versions of the publications.
Frequency of Quarterly Surveys
Quarter-by-quarter forecasts are updated four times a year for Consensus Forecasts – G7 and Western Europe and Asia Pacific Consensus Forecasts (in March, June, September and December). Eastern Europe Consensus Forecasts shows these forecasts in May and November, while updates occur in June and December for Latin American Consensus Forecasts.
Our surveys ask respondents for their quarter-by-quarter forecasts as a percentage change over the same quarter of the previous year (often referred to as year-on-year). Below is a list of 50+ countries for which we collect quarterly forecasts. Please note that for the US economy, quarterly forecasts are updated monthly in our publication Consensus Forecasts – USA, and the forecasts shown on a year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter annualized basis.
Example Quarterly Forecasts Data – France
The table below shows a sample of the data from one of our surveys for Quarter-by-Quarter forecasts in France (from our March 2019 Consensus Forecasts – G7 and Western Europe survey).
The need to anticipate an economy’s trajectory receives added attention as one approaches turning points of a business cycle. Much of Europe is now through the expansion phase that peaked in 2017, as witnessed by downward trends in quarterly GDP growth in 2018. This loss of momentum did not surprise given pervasive uncertainties caused by global trade frictions and Brexit. Italy slipped into recession in the final quarter of last year (defined as two straight quarters of negative GDP growth), while Germany narrowly avoided one. France did not suffer as much of a collapse in output by comparison (despite widespread ‘yellow vest’ protests) and might even improve upon the 0.3% (q-o-q) increase in GDP in Q4, once the economy recovers from those disruptions. Yet the spectre of stagnation (or even negative output) continues to cast a shadow over most European countries, due to sluggish domestic demand and external headwinds. Forecasts from our latest survey suggest that weaknesses will extend through much of 2019, although some improvements may emerge toward the end of the year and into 2020. The UK may follow a similar trend, although the magnitude of the political crisis brings risks of a more pronounced slowdown. In contrast, the US fared relatively well in relation to its peers, as it expanded 0.6% (q-o-q) in Q4 2018. Yet a slowdown in Q1 appears inevitable, following a series of soft monthly indicators. In addition, most panellists warn of momentum loss later in 2019 or 2020 as the effects of corporate tax cuts begin to fade and debt and protectionist risks weigh on investor sentiment.
Text from Consensus Forecasts – G7 and Western Europe, March 11, 2019.