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NABE 2012 Forecast: Equipment and Software Spending Revised Upward

February 27, 2012, 07:00 AM
Filed Under: Economy

The February 2012 National Association for Business Economics (NABE) Outlook presents the consensus of macroeconomic forecasts from a panel of 45 professional forecasters. The survey, covering the outlook for 2012 and 2013, was conducted January 26- February 8, 2012.
The report posted on the NABE web site quotes NABE President Gene Huang, chief economist at FedEx saying, “Economists responding to the latest NABE Outlook Survey are seeing strength in a number of economic measures and have subsequently increased their expectations for employment, housing starts, and business spending. Despite increases in a number of forecasts, however, economists remain guarded on U.S. economic growth, with the median forecast of respondents calling for inflation adjusted gross domestic product—real GDP—of 2.4 percent for the year in 2012. Respondents continue to expect consumer spending to grow below trend in 2012 and the federal deficit to increase before it eventually declines. Economists’ expectations for export growth have also weakened over the last four months. Collectively, forecast uncertainty among the economists appears to have diminished slightly over the last several months.”

The report also cites that panelists continue to forecast strong business spending growth. The outlook for spending on real nonresidential equipment and software in 2012 was marginally revised upward to 8.1 percent, and panelists forecast a lower but still solid 7.3 percent in 2013. The projection for real spending on nonresidential structures for 2012 was lowered slightly from that in the November survey, to 4.2 percent, but in 2013 the growth rate is expected to pick up to 5.1 percent. Industrial production is expected to increase moderately at 3.5 percent in 2012 and at 3.3 percent in 2013.

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