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ACT Research's Sam Kahan
Sam Kahan, ACT Research chief economist

ACT’s Kahan to accept Klein award, deliver 2020 forecast

Sam Kahan, ACT Research’s chief economist, will accept the prestigious Lawrence R Klein Award for forecasting excellence and then deliver his 2020 economic forecast during a ceremony Oct 16 in New York City.

“I am honored to receive the prestigious Lawrence R Klein Blue Chip Forecasting Award,” Kahan said. “It is a real privilege to be included in the pantheon of influential American economists. (But) no person stands alone.

“I want to acknowledge the support and input of the other members of the ACT Research team, without whom this achievement would not have occurred.”

During the event, Kahan will attempt to answer the question of whether or not the country can avoid the onset of an economy-wide recession in 2020 and beyond, which is the prime challenge facing the US economy, despite real GDP growth and a strong consumer goods sector, ACT said.

Kahan, who ACT says is “the economist with the most accurate forecasts—four years in a row,” is a highly regarded financial economist with more than 30 years of experience analyzing and forecasting global capital markets.

His 2020 economic forecast is expected to include these predictions:

  • Despite the long list of headwinds, we are forecasting a decelerating but still positive real GDP growth for the US economy.
  • Regarding sectors, transportation, and freight—ACT Research's primary expertise—we expect to experience declines consistent with weakness of the goods-producing segments of the economy. 
  • The consumer sector continues to be the main engine for growth.
  • Trade and related factors like tariffs remain the key risk elements.
  • Regarding policy levers, the Federal Reserve remains the major game in town, even as it is not well understood.

ACT said Kahan demonstrated “amazing consistency,” beating out approximately 50 competitors for this year’s Klein award, which is sponsored and judged by the WP Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. The Blue Chip Economic Indicators newsletter is the source of the forecasts used to select the winner. 

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“The most accurate forecasters during the 2015-to-2018 period picked up the dip in GDP growth rate in 2016, foresaw the very low inflation rate in 2015, and tracked the downward trend in unemployment year by year,” said Dennis Hoffman, an economics professor and director of the L William Seidman Research Institute at Carey.

“Sam Kahan consistently beat the consensus and finished strong, with particularly low forecast errors across the board for 2018.”

Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT, said Kahan “adds considerable depth and perspective to (their) economic forecasting efforts.”

“We are pleased that he has chosen to ply his trade at our boutique research shop,” Vieth said. “We are even more pleased that his hard work and career in economics is being acknowledged with such a prestigious accolade. Predicting the future is hard, and a solid thesis is required to maintain precision over a four-year window.”

Notable guests are expected to attend the invitation-only award ceremony, which runs 6 pm to 8 pm at the University Club in New York.

Anticipated guests include:

  • Amy Hillman, dean of ASU’s WP Carey School of Business
  • Dennis Hoffman, professor of economics and director of the L William Seidman Research Institute at the WP Carey School of Business
  • Hannah Klein, professor of biochemistry, medicine and pathology at the NYU School of Medicine

Established in 1976, Wolters Kluwer’s Blue Chip Economic Indicators provides the latest in expert opinions on the future performance of the US economy. Each month, the newsletter compiles forecasts from 50 leading business economists for key indicators of economic growth.

“The Blue Chip editorial team at Haver Analytics is honored to be part of this annual tradition,” said Joseph Aguinaldo, executive editor of Blue Chip Economic Indicators. “We look forward to continuing work with the WP Carey School of Business in determining the top forecasters in the country.”

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