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Nowcasts for the U.S. output gap are calculated following the approach described in Berger, Morley, and Wong (forthcoming, Journal of Econometrics). Please cite the paper when referring to the estimates reported here.

The latest nowcast reported above is displayed in the time series plot using an orange line extending from the realized estimates of the output gap based on data up to and including the latest quarter for which real GDP has been released. Conditional forecasts of future values of the output gap can be toggled on or off in the plot by clicking on the label in the legend and are displayed as a green line. Exact values of estimates can be seen by hovering over or tapping on each point in the plot. The data file linked to above contains three columns, (1) for the date of the estimate, (2) output gap (%) and (3) whether or not real GDP has been realized for a given quarter.

The estimates are automatically updated daily and usually within 30 minutes of major data releases. The date (UTC time zone) of the latest nowcast is reported directly below the time series plot. For details of the most recent monthly indicators used in calculating the output gap estimates or information on historical nowcasts for the given quarter, click the 'Monthly Indicators' or 'Historical Nowcasts' dropdown, respectively.

The table below contains the most recent values of monthly indicators that feed into the output gap estimates. Note that consumer sentiment may be a preliminary measure and there can be small revisions to IP growth and housing starts over time. Also, we note that the interest rates used in calculating spreads are measured only to two decimals.

Below are three data files that can be placed in the same directory as the MATLAB code linked to at the bottom of this webpage in order to replicate the nowcast estimates. These data are mostly gathered from FRED, except for some indicators reported on FRED with a lag or truncated timelines, which we scrape from other sources.

Contents by column (denoted by FRED codes - starting from 1967):
Monthly data for spreads: date, BAA, AAA, DGS10, DGS1
Quarterly data: date, GDPC1

The table below contains the historical nowcasts for the current nowcasted quarter (the quarter presented here is dictated by UTC time as stated below the plot). At the start of every quarter the table will start anew and the last nowcast for any given day (again, dictated by UTC) will be appended to the table. Current day nowcasts may be revised. Please see the option to download this data below.

Contents by column:
Date of nowcast estimate, output gap (%)


Tino Berger, James Morley and Benjamin Wong, forthcoming, "Nowcasting the Output Gap," Journal of Econometrics.

Link to journal version
Link to working paper
Link to code