The September 2011 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The September Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published today, September 16, 2011.  The headline is “Economists Say That U.S. Recession Looks More Likely.”

I found various aspects of the survey to be interesting, including the following excerpts:

Economists see a one in three chance the U.S. will slip into recession over the next twelve months and doubt any steps the Federal Reserve might take at its meeting next week can change that.


The majority of economists said all three steps—launching Operation Twist, altering interest on reserves or setting more explicit targets—would have little to no effect. Twenty-two of the 50 economists who responded to the question said more asset purchases would have somewhat or a significant impact on the economy, but 19 said the effect would be small and nine said it would be negative.

Also, a question in the detail (spreadsheet) asked “Please estimate on a scale of 0 to 100 the probability that the U.S. is in a recession already.”  The average response was 15%.

Another question in the detail asked for the economists to grade President Obama’s jobs proposal on a scale of 0-100.  The responses were the following:

A (90-100)         10%

B (80-89)             8%

C (70-79)            13%

D (60-69)             18%

F (Below 60)        51%

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:


full-year 2011 : 1.5%

full-year 2012:  2.4%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2011: 9.1%

December 2012: 8.6%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2011: 2.37%

December 2012: 3.17%


December 2011:  3.1%

December 2012:  2.2%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2011: $88.95

for 12/31/2012: $92.82

(note: I comment upon this 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 1213.89 as this post is written