The February Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on February 12, 2015. The headline is “WSJ Survey: Economists See Cheap Oil Weighing On Capital Investment.”
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.
Despite the weakness in capital spending, forecasters are optimistic about the overall U.S. economy. The average forecast says inflation-adjusted gross domestic product will grow 2.9% over the course of 2015. That would be faster than the 2.5% gain in 2014 and the second-best annual performance since the recession ended.
Supporting the outlook are expectations that oil prices will rise only slowly this year, and solid job growth will lead to bigger pay raises.
What could derail the economy in 2015? As was the case through most of 2014, the majority of economists still cite international events as the biggest potential nightmares.
Slower global growth was the top potential danger, but other foreign risks included financial-market fallout if Greece exits the eurozone and an escalation of Ukraine-Russia tensions.
As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 11.11%; January’s average response was 11.54%.
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: 5.2%
December 2016: 4.9%
December 2017: 4.8%
10-Year Treasury Yield:
December 2015: 2.71%
December 2016: 3.46%
December 2017: 3.84%
December 2015: 1.4%
December 2016: 2.3%
December 2017: 2.3%
Crude Oil ($ per bbl):
for 12/31/2015: $62.15
(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 2086.00 as this post is written