Economic Forecast Perks Up

Analysts are amending their economic forecast due to higher GDP expectations, even as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma weigh on growth, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group’s recently released Economic and Housing Outlook for September 2017. The Outlook projects the economy will perk up 2.2 percent over the course of the year, up from the 2.0 percent initially reported.

“For the first time in 2017, we have increased our full-year growth outlook,” says Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The upgrade reflects economic activity gaining momentum at the end of the second quarter, though we see a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the forecast. The list of uncertainties now extends beyond the geopolitical and legislative, as the effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma will require time to untangle.

“Historically, natural disasters that hit heavily populated areas led to substantial near-term declines in economic activity but meaningful rebounds in subsequent quarters due to rebuilding efforts,” Duncan says. “Thus, economic growth in the second half of 2017 could still average a slightly stronger pace than the first half. Unfortunately, we continue to expect home sales to be flat during the second half of the year compared to the first half due to strong home price appreciation and lean inventories.”

Source: Fannie Mae

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