The February 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The February 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on February 8, 2018.  The headline is “Economists Stick With Optimistic U.S. Outlook Despite Market Turmoil.”

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 see the U.S. economy gathering steam this year and the Federal Reserve raising short-term interest rates three or perhaps four times by the end of 2018.

Economists surveyed in recent days by The Wall Street Journal on average predicted U.S. gross domestic product would rise 2.8% in 2018, accelerating from 2.5% growth in the fourth quarter of 2017 versus a year earlier, supported by the recent package of tax-code changes.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 13.97%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 35%.  For reference, the average response in January’s survey was 13.11%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s respondents were 63 academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.  The survey was conducted February 2 – February 6, 2018.

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:


full-year 2018:  2.8%

full-year 2019:  2.3%

full-year 2020:  2.0%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2018: 3.8%

December 2019: 3.8%

December 2020: 4.1%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2018: 3.13%

December 2019: 3.46%

December 2020: 3.54%


December 2018:  2.2%

December 2019:  2.3%

December 2020:  2.3%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2018: $61.00

for 12/31/2019: $60.19

for 12/31/2020: $59.39

(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 2626.82 as this post is written