Tag Archives: Economic Forecasts

The October 2017 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The October 2017 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on October 12, 2017.  The headline is “Economists See GOP Tax Plan Producing Growth Spurt, But Split Over Long-Term Effect.”

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.

An excerpt:

An overwhelming majority of forecasters in The Wall Street Journal’s monthly survey of economists said the GOP tax plan unveiled last month would, if implemented, raise the growth rate for U.S. gross domestic product over the next two years. Some 60% saw a modest lift to output compared with its current trend, while 27% said the annual growth rate would jump by more than half a percentage point.

The announced framework, which lacks some details and could change as lawmakers flesh it out in the coming weeks, features lower tax rates on corporate profits, incentives for business investment and fewer individual income tax brackets, among other changes.

But roughly half of the economists said any growth spurt would fade over time. Asked about the tax plan’s likely effect on the economy’s long-run growth rate, 48% predicted a modest increase while 38% said the U.S. would remain on its current trajectory. Just 4% said the tax plan would boost the GDP growth rate by more than 0.5 percentage point a year, while 10% said growth would be slower than if there had been no tax changes.

also:

As for the federal budget deficit, 85% of economists said the GOP tax plan would cause it to widen over the next decade.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 15.85%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 33%.  For reference, the average response in September’s survey was 16.08%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s respondents were 59 academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.  The survey was conducted October 6-10.

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:

GDP:

full-year 2017:  2.3%

full-year 2018:  2.4%

full-year 2019:  2.0%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2017: 4.2%

December 2018: 4.0%

December 2019: 4.1%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2017: 2.46%

December 2018: 3.00%

December 2019: 3.30%

CPI:

December 2017:  1.8%

December 2018:  2.2%

December 2019:  2.4%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2017: $50.26

for 12/31/2018: $52.51

for 12/31/2019: $53.64

(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 site 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 2553.80 as this post is written

CEO Confidence Surveys 3Q 2017 – Notable Excerpts

On October 5, 2017, The Conference Board released the 3rd Quarter Measure Of CEO Confidence.   The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 59, down from 61 in the second quarter. [note:  a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]

Notable excerpts from this October 5 Press Release include:

CEOs’ assessment of current economic conditions was mixed. Currently, 56 percent say conditions are better compared to six months ago, down from 60 percent in the second quarter. Business leaders, however, are more positive in their appraisal of current conditions in their own industries. Now, 53 percent say conditions in their own industries have improved, up from 47 percent last quarter.

Looking ahead, CEOs’ optimism regarding the short-term outlook for the economy is slightly more pessimistic. Currently, 39 percent expect economic conditions to improve over the next six months, compared to 41 percent last quarter. However, 14 percent expect economic conditions to worsen, compared to 3 percent last quarter. About 36 percent of CEOs anticipate an improvement in their own industries over the next six months, down from 48 percent in the second quarter of this year.

The Business Roundtable last month also released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 3rd Quarter of 2017.   Notable excerpts from the September 19, 2017 release, titled “Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index Shows Signs of Continued Confidence in Economy“ (pdf):

The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index — a composite of CEO projections for sales and plans for capital spending and hiring over the next six months — stood at 94.5 for the third quarter of 2017, edging up from 93.9 in the second quarter.

For the second quarter in a row, the Index reached its highest level since the second quarter of 2014 (95.4). The Index has also significantly exceeded its historical average of 80.3 for three quarters in a row and remains well above 50, suggesting CEOs’ continued confidence in the U.S. economy.

CEO plans for hiring jumped from the previous quarter, up 9.9 points to 80.2 in the third quarter – the highest reading in more than six years. Expectations for sales dipped by 7.4 to 116.9 for the third quarter, while plans for capital investment moderated slightly from 87.2 to 86.4.

CEOs project 2.1 percent GDP growth in 2017, up 0.1 percent from their projection for 2017 made in June.

_____

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site 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 2546.60 as this post is written

September 2017 Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook Survey – Notable Excerpts

On September 8, 2017 the September 2017 Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook was released.  It contains a variety of statistics regarding how CFOs view business and economic conditions.

In this CFO survey, I found the following to be the most notable excerpts – although I don’t necessarily agree with them:

The survey has been conducted for 86 consecutive quarters and spans the globe, making it the world’s longest-running and most comprehensive research on senior finance executives. This quarter, nearly 850 CFOs responded to the survey, which ended Sept. 8. Results are for the U.S. unless stated otherwise.

For the second quarter in a row, and for only the second time in the history of the survey, difficulty attracting and retaining qualified employees is the top concern of U.S. CFOs. This same concern ranks highly in many places around the world.

also:

Due in part to the tight labor market, U.S. companies expect to pay higher wages, with median wage growth of about 3 percent over the next 12 months. Wage growth should be strongest in the tech, health care, and construction industries.

also:

The Optimism Index fell slightly this quarter to 66 on a 100-point scale. That’s one point lower than last quarter but still far above the long-run average of 60.

“CFOs remain optimistic not only about the overall economy but about their own firms, too,” said Chris Schmidt, senior editor at CFO Research. “Our analysis of past results shows the CFO Optimism Index is an accurate predictor of hiring plans and overall GDP growth.”

The CFO survey contains two Optimism Index charts, with the bottom chart showing U.S. Optimism (with regard to the economy) at 66, as seen below:

Duke CFO Optimism

It should be interesting to see how well the CFOs predict business and economic conditions going forward.   I discussed past various aspects of this, and the importance of these predictions, in the July 9, 2010 post titled “The Business Environment”.

(past posts on CEO and CFO surveys can be found under the “CFO and CEO Confidence” tag)

_____

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site 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 2499.53 as this post is written

The September 2017 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The September 2017 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on September 7, 2017.  The headline is “WSJ Survey:  Economists Expect Next Fed Rate Increase in December.”

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.

An excerpt:

Most economists in the latest Wall Street Journal survey expected the Federal Reserve would next raise short-term interest rates in December, and most said Janet Yellen should get a second term as the central bank’s chairwoman.

Almost three quarters of the business and academic economists surveyed in the latest poll said President Donald Trump should nominate Ms. Yellen to stay on after her current term expires in early February. Several economists said that keeping her on the job would provide continuity and reassure markets during uncertain times.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 16.08%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 35%.  For reference, the average response in August’s survey was 15.00%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s respondents were 56 academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.  The survey was conducted September 1-5.

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:

GDP:

full-year 2017:  2.3%

full-year 2018:  2.4%

full-year 2019:  2.0%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2017: 4.3%

December 2018: 4.1%

December 2019: 4.2%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2017: 2.49%

December 2018: 3.02%

December 2019: 3.28%

CPI:

December 2017:  1.7%

December 2018:  2.1%

December 2019:  2.3%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2017: $48.94

for 12/31/2018: $51.15

for 12/31/2019: $52.26

(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 site 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 2463.26 as post is written

Philadelphia Fed – 3rd Quarter 2017 Survey Of Professional Forecasters

The Philadelphia Fed 3rd Quarter 2017 Survey of Professional Forecasters was released on August 11, 2017.  This survey is somewhat unique in various regards, such as it incorporates a longer time frame for various measures.

The survey shows, among many measures, the following median expectations:

Real GDP: (annual average level)

full-year 2017:  2.1%

full-year 2018:  2.4%

full-year 2019:  2.2%

full-year 2020:  2.0%

Unemployment Rate: (annual average level)

for 2017: 4.4%

for 2018: 4.2%

for 2019: 4.3%

for 2020: 4.3%

Regarding the risk of a negative quarter in real GDP in any of the next few quarters, mean estimates are 6.7%, 10.5%, 14.2%, 15.9% and 18.1% for each of the quarters from Q3 2017 through Q3 2018, respectively.

As well, there are also a variety of time frames shown (present quarter through the year 2026) with the median expected inflation (annualized) of each.  Inflation is measured in Headline and Core CPI and Headline and Core PCE.  Over all time frames expectations are shown to be in the 1.5% to 2.4% range.

_____

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not 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 2442.52 as this post is written

The August 2017 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The August 2017 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on August 10, 2017.  The headline is “WSJ Survey:  Most Economists Expect Next Fed Rate Increase in December.”

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.

An excerpt:

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal this month see the Federal Reserve raising interest rates once more in 2017 and three times in 2018, a view that matches the Fed’s own projections.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 15.00%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 35%.  For reference, the average response in July’s survey was 14.78%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s respondents were 62 academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:

GDP:

full-year 2017:  2.2%

full-year 2018:  2.4%

full-year 2019:  1.9%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2017: 4.2%

December 2018: 4.1%

December 2019: 4.2%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2017: 2.60%

December 2018: 3.03%

December 2019: 3.31%

CPI:

December 2017:  1.7%

December 2018:  2.2%

December 2019:  2.3%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2017: $49.76

for 12/31/2018: $51.81

for 12/31/2019: $53.45

(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 site 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 2438.21 as post is written

The July 2017 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The July 2017 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on July 13, 2017.  The headline is “Forecasters Lower Economic Outlook Amid Congressional Gridlock.”

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.

Two excerpts:

Forecasters in The Wall Street Journal’s monthly survey of economists marked down their outlooks for growth, inflation and interest rates this month, a partial reversal of a postelection bump.

also:

Forecasters assess whether they think the economy is more likely to outperform or underperform their forecasts. The number of economists seeing those risks to the downside climbed to 57% in this month’s survey, the highest since before the election. That’s up from 51% last month and 37% just two months ago.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 14.78%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 33%.  For reference, the average response in June’s survey was 15.80%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s respondents were 63 academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.  The survey occurred on July 7, 2017 to July 11, 2017.

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:

GDP:

full-year 2017:  2.3%

full-year 2018:  2.4%

full-year 2019:  1.9%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2017: 4.3%

December 2018: 4.1%

December 2019: 4.3%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2017: 2.65%

December 2018: 3.12%

December 2019: 3.39%

CPI:

December 2017:  1.8%

December 2018:  2.3%

December 2019:  2.3%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2017: $47.45

for 12/31/2018: $51.16

for 12/31/2019: $51.99

(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 site 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 2448.24 as post is written

CEO Confidence Surveys 2Q 2017 – Notable Excerpts

On July 6, 2017, The Conference Board released the 2nd Quarter Measure Of CEO Confidence.   The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 61, down from 68 in the first quarter. [note:  a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]

Notable excerpts from this July 6 Press Release include:

CEOs’ appraisal of current economic conditions waned, with 60 percent saying conditions were better compared to six months ago, down from 71 percent in the first quarter. Business leaders were also less positive in their appraisal of current conditions in their own industries. Now, just 47 percent say conditions in their own industries have improved, down from 60 percent last quarter.

Looking ahead, CEOs’ optimism regarding the short-term outlook for the economy moderated due to a greater percentage expressing a “more of the same” sentiment as opposed to foreseeing conditions worsening. Currently, 41 percent expect economic conditions to improve over the next six months, compared to approximately 65 percent last quarter. The outlook for their own industries was also less favorable, with 48 percent of CEOs anticipating an improvement over the next six months, down from 67 percent in the first quarter of this year.

The Business Roundtable last month also released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 2nd Quarter of 2017.   Notable excerpts from the June 6, 2017 release, titled “Survey:  America’s Business Leaders Maintaining Confidence in U.S. Economy“:

The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index — a composite of CEO
plans for capital spending and hiring and projections for sales over the next six months —
reached its highest level in three years, since the second quarter of 2014 (95.4). The Index
stood at 93.9 in the second quarter of 2017, up from 93.3 in the first quarter. For the
second quarter in a row, the Index stands well above its historical average of 80.0.

CEO plans for capital investment rose by 4.6 points from the last quarter, while
expectations for sales stayed steady, increasing by 0.5 point. Plans for hiring for the next
six months dropped a modest 3.3 points.

CEOs project 2.0 percent GDP growth in 2017, down two-tenths from their projection for
2017 made in March.

_____

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site 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 2427.43 as this post is written

June 2017 Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook Survey – Notable Excerpts

On June 13, 2017 the June Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook was released.  It contains a variety of statistics regarding how CFOs view business and economic conditions.

In this CFO survey, I found the following to be the most notable excerpts – although I don’t necessarily agree with them:

Uncertainty about regulatory policy and health care costs is causing chief financial officers in the United States to hold back investment plans, a new survey finds.

also:

The survey has been conducted for 85 consecutive quarters and spans the globe, making it the world’s longest-running and most comprehensive research on senior finance executives. This quarter, nearly 750 CFOs responded to the survey, which ended June 9. Results are for the U.S. unless stated otherwise.

Almost 40 percent of CFOs indicated uncertainty is currently higher than normal. Among those companies, about 60 percent said that uncertainty has caused them to delay new projects and investments.

also:

The Optimism Index fell slightly this quarter to 67 on a 100-point scale. That’s two points lower than last quarter but still far above the long-run average of 60.

“CFOs remain optimistic not only about the overall economy but about their own firms too,” Graham said. “Our analysis of past results shows the CFO Optimism Index is an excellent predictor of the future, especially hiring plans and overall GDP growth.”

Hiring plans are stronger than one year ago and U.S. companies expect to pay higher wages, with median wage growth of about 3 percent over the next 12 months, even greater in the construction and tech industries.

The CFO survey contains two Optimism Index charts, with the bottom chart showing U.S. Optimism (with regard to the economy) at 67, as seen below:

Duke CFO Survey Optimism chart

It should be interesting to see how well the CFOs predict business and economic conditions going forward.   I discussed past various aspects of this, and the importance of these predictions, in the July 9, 2010 post titled “The Business Environment”.

(past posts on CEO and CFO surveys can be found under the “CFO and CEO Confidence” tag)

_____

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site 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 2428.11 as this post is written

The June 2017 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The June 2017 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on June 8, 2017.  The headline is “Unresolved U.S. Debt Ceiling Casts a Shadow Over Many Forecasters’ Economic Outlooks.”

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.

An excerpt:

Forecasters in The Wall Street Journal’s monthly survey have raised their assessments of the risk facing the U.S. economy. For the first time since the presidential election, a majority of economists in the survey are concerned the economy could do worse than forecast.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 15.80%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 33%.  For reference, the average response in May’s survey was 15.27%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s respondents were 60 academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.  The survey occurred on June 2, 2017 to June 6, 2017.

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:

GDP:

full-year 2017:  2.3%

full-year 2018:  2.4%

full-year 2019:  2.0%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2017: 4.3%

December 2018: 4.1%

December 2019: 4.3%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2017: 2.66%

December 2018: 3.20%

December 2019: 3.57%

CPI:

December 2017:  2.1%

December 2018:  2.3%

December 2019:  2.3%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2017: $50.95

for 12/31/2018: $53.31

(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 site 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 2426.92 as post is written