The February 2017 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The February 2017 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on February 9, 2017.  The headline is “Forecasters See Slow Progress in Labor-Market Measures Favored by Trump Administration.”

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:

Mr. Mnuchin also mentioned the U-6 rate, which includes the discouraged workers mentioned above and people who have part-time jobs but want full-time work.

This is the Labor Department’s broadest measure of unemployment, which stood at 9.4% in January. Over the next three years it is expected to decline to 8.7%, according to the average forecast. If correct, that, too, would be higher than the rate seen in previous booms.


The survey respondents expect labor-force participation to rise to 63.3% by the end of 2019. The overall population will also grow over this period, according to Census Bureau projections (which already assume that immigration will slow), and so the number of people outside the labor force would likely remain around 95 million.

As stated in the article, the survey’s respondents were 62 academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.  The survey occurred on February 3, 2017 to February 7, 2017.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 15.09%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 33%.  For reference, the average response in January’s survey was 16.49%.

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:


full-year 2016:  1.9%

full-year 2017:  2.4%

full-year 2018:  2.5%

full-year 2019:  2.1%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2017: 4.5%

December 2018: 4.4%

December 2019: 4.5%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2017: 2.86%

December 2018: 3.31%


December 2017:  2.3%

December 2018:  2.4%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2017: $55.79

for 12/31/2018: $59.17

(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 2308.81 as post is written