The April 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The April 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on April 12, 2018.  The headline is “Powerful Forces Seen Restraining U.S. Pay Growth.”

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:

A majority of the 60 economists surveyed this month by the Journal said three factors are meaningfully holding down readings on wage growth: low productivity growth, demographic changes, and foreign competition and globalization. Other possible explanations, such as hidden slack in the labor market or government regulation, were cited by fewer than half of forecasters.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 15.33%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 35%.  For reference, the average response in March’s survey was 13.66%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s respondents were 60 academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.  The survey was conducted April 6 – April 10, 2018.

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:


full-year 2018:  2.8%

full-year 2019:  2.5%

full-year 2020:  2.0%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2018: 3.8%

December 2019: 3.6%

December 2020: 3.9%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2018: 3.18%

December 2019: 3.49%

December 2020: 3.62%


December 2018:  2.3%

December 2019:  2.3%

December 2020:  2.3%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2018: $62.06

for 12/31/2019: $61.20

for 12/31/2020: $61.54

(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 2663.99 as this post is written