The May 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The May 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on May 10, 2018.  The headline is “Economists Think the Next U.S. Recession Could Begin in 2020.”

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:

The economic expansion that began in mid-2009 and already ranks as the second-longest in American history most likely will end in 2020 as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to cool off an overheating economy, according to forecasters surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.

Some 59% of private-sector economists surveyed in recent days said the expansion was most likely to end in 2020. An additional 22% selected 2021, and smaller camps predicted the next recession would arrive next year, in 2022 or at some unspecified later date.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 14.59%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 32%.  For reference, the average response in April’s survey was 15.33%.

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 May 4 – May 8, 2018.

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:


full-year 2018:  2.9%

full-year 2019:  2.4%

full-year 2020:  1.9%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2018: 3.7%

December 2019: 3.6%

December 2020: 3.9%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2018: 3.24%

December 2019: 3.54%

December 2020: 3.59%


December 2018:  2.4%

December 2019:  2.3%

December 2020:  2.3%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2018: $66.80

for 12/31/2019: $65.07

for 12/31/2020: $63.42

(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 2723.07 as this post is written