Budget forecasts compared. Key to the budget plan released by the Obama administration for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 are the underlying economic assumptions. Those have a lot to say about how the provisions outlined in the budget are expected to play out.
It's also important to remember that the economic assumptions that are used to prepare the budget plan are now dated - they were based on information available as of mid-November 2011. That's not a criticism, but an important reality to keep in mind as you look at the various assumptions. The other assumptions in the table below are from January.
That stands out in particular when it comes to the unemployment rate as it is already well below the level assumed in the budget. But to make forecasts, assumptions have to be made.
Another key: The Administration forecast assumes that the President's Budget proposals will be enacted. The 50 or so private forecasters in the Blue Chip Consensus make differing policy assumptions, but none would necessarily assume that the Budget is adopted in full. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is required to assume that current law will continue in making its projections.