I wouldn’t put toooo much stock in such forecasts at this early stage (and GDP growth matters a lot less to most of us than, say, whether we’ve got jobs). But in the wake of several surprisingly positive data releases this week, some Wall Street economists are revising their forecasts of fourth-quarter growth upwards. A few examples from my inbox:
Bruce Kasman, J.P. Morgan: 4.5% (revised up from 3.5%)
Neal Soss, Credit Suisse: 4.5% (revised up from 3.5%)
Dean Maki, Barclays Capital: 4.5% (up from 4%, and with a forecast of 5% growth in the first quarter of next year)
Harm Bandholz, Unicredit: still 3.5%, but with “upside risks” (“A growth rate of 4+% is now certainly within the realms of possibility.”)
Growth in excess of 4%, if it lasted for a few quarters, could start to make this feel like an actual recovery. With, you know, hiring and stuff. I’ll believe it when I see it, but just be warned: Things might really be getting better.