Economic data has been better than forecast lately, which is significant since the economy had been performing worse than expected for most of the year and perceptions of weakness often become a self-fulfilling prophecy, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta president Dennis Lockhart said.

Since late August data have surprised to the upside of low expectations. “For the third quarter at least, it appears that downgrades of growth forecasts have been too pessimistic,” Lockhart told the CFA Society of East Tennessee on Tuesday, according to prepared remarks released by the Fed.

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