It’s official: the double dip is here. Goldman’s Jan Hatzius just lowered his GDP forecast for 2011 from 2.5% to 1.9% (kiss goodbye all those 93 EPS estimates on the S&P), increased his unemployment forecast from 9.8% to 10.0%, boosted his inflation expectation from 0.4% to 1.0%, and said that QE lite is now on the table, as he expects that “the FOMC to announce that they will reinvest the paydown of mortgage-backed securities in the bond market at next Tuesday’s meeting.” Look for all other sell-side “strategists” (here’s looking at you Neil Dutta) to lower their economic outlook in kind, and the 2011 S&P consensus to decline accordingly.
From Goldman Sachs:
Over the past two to three months, the US economic recovery has lost a considerable amount of its momentum. As a result, our forecast of a significant slowing in US growth in the second half of 2010—widely regarded as implausible just three months ago—is now increasingly accepted as the baseline. As the data disappointments intensified in early July, we indicated that we would consider revisions to our economic outlook. With the annual revisions to real GDP now behind us, we are making the following changes: (more…)