The old gag; “ask five economists and you’ll get five different answers — six if one went to Harvard” appears as relevant as ever when scanning the forecasts of leading market economists ahead of this week’s third quarter National Accounts release.
Key points:The consensus forecast is GDP growth will slip to 3.3pc over the year as a softer housing market impactsGlobal equity markets rebounded strongly last week, leaving ASX in their wakeMarkets will now focus on US/China trade talks and interest rate decisions in coming weeks
While none of the 19 economists surveyed by Reuters went to Harvard — thereby diminishing the diversity of thought a bit — there is still a significant range of views about how the Australian economy has been tracking.
At one end of the spectrum Morgan Stanley’s Daniel Blake has the economy still growing, but slowing markedly.
Citi’s Paul Brennen has a sunnier view, arguing the economy probably accelerated over the three months to September.
Having said that, the differences would appear marginal to the average punter, but reflect quite different opinions about how different sectors are faring and the risks ahead for Australia.
To be fair, all forecasts as of the close of business on Friday came with a caveat that a release of GDP “partials” — relating to trade as well as business and government spending — in coming days could change things.
The Morgan Stanley house view has tended to be one of the gloomiest on the street.
Mr Blake said he expected the 3.4 per cent year-on-year GDP growth achieved in the second quarter was “the peak” for the time being.
He has growth over Q3 pencilled in at 0.4 per cent, or