Building a House for the 21st Century
While 1996 started off slowly, the economic engine accelerated in the second quarter of the year, to the point where many people were very concerned about the economy overheating. These fears were mollified in the third quarter as the economy’s growth matched the slower growth of the first quarter. In that setting, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago held its tenth annual Economic Outlook Symposium on December 6, 1996. More than 50 economists and analysts from business, academia and government attended the conference. The sessions focused on the housing market and how its strength during 1996 would affect the economy in 1997. Prior to the symposium, individuals were asked to submit both annual and quarterly 1997 forecasts for many of the gross domestic product (GDP) components, as well as several other economic series. This Fed Letter will review the accuracy of last year’s conference forecast for 1996 and summarize the 1997 Economic Outlook Symposium.