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'Most Accurate Economist' receives Lawrence R. Klein Award

October 05, 2009

Not many people could have foreseen the economic roller coaster that evolved over the last few years. However, Goldman Sachs Chief U.S. Economist Jan Hatzius is being recognized for his uncanny economic forecasting that anticipated the global financial crisis.

Hatzius will receive the 2009 Lawrence R. Klein Award for accuracy at an upcoming ceremony in New York. Nobel Prize winner Klein, himself, will present Hatzius with the award. Then Hatzius will deliver his 2010 economic forecast.

"I'm honored to receive this award on behalf of the U.S. economics team, including my colleagues Ed McKelvey and Andrew Tilton," Hatzius says. "Given the uncertainty of the current post-crisis environment, unbiased and hopefully accurate economic analysis is more important than ever to our clients. We very much look forward to sharing our perspective on where the economy and the markets are likely to be heading."

The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University sponsors and judges the Lawrence R. Klein Award, regarded as one of the most prestigious and longest-standing awards in the economic profession. Hatzius won the award for having the most accurate economic forecast among the Blue Chip Economic Indicators survey participants for the years 2005 to 2008. The survey involves a consensus panel of the top 50 economic forecasters in the United States. The resulting newsletter has been published for more than 30 years and is regarded as the "gold standard" of business forecasts.

"Jan Hatzius' forecasts stood out among an extremely impressive field," says research professor of economics Lee McPheters of the W. P. Carey School of Business. "The winner was determined by projections made over the past four years, when we had both expansion and contraction. Hatzius anticipated the turning points for key indicators with more accuracy than any other leading forecaster."

This year, Hatzius has also been honored by The Wall Street Journal and Institutional Investor as the No. 1 economic forecaster in the United States. He joined Goldman Sachs in 1997 and is now responsible for setting the firm's U.S. economic and interest rate outlook. In his current role as chief U.S. economist at Goldman Sachs, he succeeded William Dudley, who is now president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Hatzius has been published on a broad range of macroeconomic issues, with an emphasis on the housing and credit market boom/bust cycle.

Hatzius' 2010 forecast will contain several key messages for those watching the markets. Among his predictions:

• More anemic growth in 2010 to follow the real GDP rise during the second half of 2009
• An unemployment rate of about 10.5 percent by the end of 2010
• Inflation will not be a significant threat over the next few years

The Lawrence R. Klein Award ceremony will be held at the University Club in New York on Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. Randell E. Moore, executive editor of Blue Chip Economic Indicators, will be among those attending.