The Fed’s Projections Are Too Rosy, Again

By:  Bob Adelmann
06/27/2011
       
The Fed’s Projections Are Too Rosy, Again

The economic projections released by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday estimated that in less than two years the unemployment rate would be down to 7 to 7 ½  percent, with the economy growing at an inflation-adjusted rate of nearly 4 percent. And in the next three to five years, the unemployment rate would likely be back to normal: between 5.2 and 5.6 percent.

This is wishful thinking. Okun’s Law (or rule of thumb) says that it’s going to take inflation-adjusted growth in the economy of at least 3 percent to make any dent at all in the unemployment rate. And even if GDP does grow at 4 percent, as the Fed projects, unemployment will likely drop by less than one half of one percent, or still well above 8 percent. Not only does that not bode well for President Obama’s reelection chances (no President since FDR has been elected to a second term when unemployment has been over 7.2 percent), it’s also bad news for those who continue their job search in a flat economy.

The economic projections released by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday estimated that in less than two years the unemployment rate would be down to 7 to 7 ½  percent, with the economy growing at an inflation-adjusted rate of nearly 4 percent. And in the next three to five years, the unemployment rate would likely be back to normal: between 5.2 and 5.6 percent.

This is wishful thinking. Okun’s Law (or rule of thumb) says that it’s going to take inflation-adjusted growth in the economy of at least 3 percent to make any dent at all in the unemployment rate. And even if GDP does grow at 4 percent, as the Fed projects, unemployment will likely drop by less than one half of one percent, or still well above 8 percent. Not only does that not bode well for President Obama’s reelection chances (no President since FDR has been elected to a second term when unemployment has been over 7.2 percent), it’s also bad news for those who continue their job search in a flat economy.

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