Macroeconomic Forecasting During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Business graph with arrow showing profits and gainsSince March, forecasters have become more and more downbeat about economic prospects for 2020, and many estimates of real GDP growth have been revised downward, including the OECD’s Economic Outlook released in June.

The Freedonia Group’s new white paper Forecasting in a Time of Crisis – How COVID-19 Is Affecting Economic Forecasting examines this troubling trend with insightful analysis from Freedonia’s long-time Chief Economist Tom Bowne.

Mr. Bowne offers a unique perspective and deep expertise on this topic. He has been with Freedonia since 1997 and manages the company's economics unit. Before coming to work for Freedonia, Mr. Bowne was an economist for the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation and taught economics at a number of renowned universities. He has a bachelor's degree in economics from Princeton University and a master's degree in economics from Stanford University.

Changing Forecasts in a Time of Crisis

According to Mr. Bowne, the worsening spread of COVID-19 has contributed to increasingly pessimistic economic forecasts in South America, "but in most regions, downward reassessment of real GDP has come even after infections have passed their peak and have begun to decline. The negative ‘surprise’ that forecasters are taking into account is not the direct effect of the disease, but the difficulty in resuming economic activity after relaxing shutdowns, and the cost increases that will be incurred in the future to allow for economic activity without markedly increasing the risk of disease transmission.”

In the white paper, Mr. Bowne explores other key issues, including:

  • The heavy economic impacts of social distancing measures
  • Future changes in consumer behavior
  • The urgent need for high-frequency economic data

Mr. Bowne concludes the white paper by offering insight into a critical question on everyone’s mind: whether the US economy has already bottomed out, or if additional downward adjustments to forecasts may be warranted, given the large drop in economic activity.

To learn more, download the free white paper now available on The Freedonia Group website using the button below. You may also want to check out our more recent article "Forecasting During a Pandemic and Predicting Market Changes."

White Paper: Forecasting in a Time of Crisis

About The Freedonia Group – The Freedonia Group, a division of, is a leading international industrial research company publishing more than 100 studies annually. Since 1985 we have provided research to customers ranging in size from global conglomerates to one-person consulting firms. More than 90% of the industrial companies in the Fortune 500 use Freedonia Group research to help with their strategic planning. Each study includes product and market analyses and forecasts, in-depth discussions of important industry trends, and market share information. 

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