Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities LLC, has derided the Federal Reserve for downplaying improvement in the U.S. economy. Yet his 2.6 percent forecast for growth this year is below the midpoint in the central bank’s projection of 2.4 percent to 2.9 percent.
Stanley’s not alone: The median of 55 estimates compiled this month by Blue Chip Economic Indicators for 2012 is 2.3 percent. All but 16 of the predictions were below the bottom of the Fed’s so-called central tendency. JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Michael Feroli, John Lonski of Moody’s Capital Markets Group and Wells Fargo Securities LLC’s John Silvia all are relatively more cautious on growth than the policy makers.