The March Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on March 12, 2015. The headline is “WSJ Survey: Economists See Dollar Strength, Global Weakness Restraining U.S. Growth.”
I found numerous items to be notable – although I don’t necessarily agree with them – both within the article and in the “Economist Q&A” section.
They expect much of the lost activity will be made up in the spring, allowing the economy to grow at a 3% pace in the second quarter. For the entire year, the economists think GDP will grow 2.9%. That would beat the 2.4% increase in 2014 and be fast enough to push the unemployment rate down to 5.1% by December from 5.5% in February, they said.
But stronger domestic demand is contributing to a wider U.S. trade deficit, already evident in the fourth quarter. Faster consumer and business spending in the U.S. caused imports to jump during the quarter, while exports grew only modestly. The wider trade gap subtracted a huge 1.15 percentage points from GDP growth in the fourth quarter.
As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 10.76%; February’s average response was 11.11%.
The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:
full-year 2015: 2.9%
full-year 2016: 2.8%
full-year 2017: 2.6%
December 2015: 5.1%
December 2016: 4.8%
December 2017: 4.8%
10-Year Treasury Yield:
December 2015: 2.72%
December 2016: 3.44%
December 2017: 3.89%
December 2015: 1.3%
December 2016: 2.2%
December 2017: 2.3%
Crude Oil ($ per bbl):
for 12/31/2015: $59.80
for 12/31/2016: $66.88
(note: I highlight this WSJ Economic Forecast survey each month; commentary on past surveys can be found under the “Economic Forecasts” category)
I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored. However, as those familiar with this blog are aware, I do not necessarily agree with many of the consensus estimates and much of the commentary in these forecast surveys.
The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 2045.34 as this post is written