The July 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on July 12, 2018. The headline is “Economists in New Survey See Federal Reserve on Autopilot.”
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.
Just about every economist surveyed said the next increase in the Fed’s benchmark federal-funds rate would come at the Sept. 25-26 meeting and 84% predicted the one after that would be at the Dec. 18-19 meeting.
Overall, economists see the rate ending the year at 2.33%, up from the current range of 1.75% to 2%. That is the equivalent to four quarter-percentage-point interest-rate increases in 2018. By the end of 2019, the economists see the federal-funds rate settling at 3%, which would represent two to three rate increases next year.
As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 17.71%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 1% to 35%. For reference, the average response in June’s survey was 15.83%.
As stated in the article, the survey’s respondents were 63 academic, financial and business economists. Not every economist answered every question.
The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:
full-year 2018: 2.9%
full-year 2019: 2.3%
full-year 2020: 1.8%
December 2018: 3.7%
December 2019: 3.6%
December 2020: 3.9%
10-Year Treasury Yield:
December 2018: 3.17%
December 2019: 3.49%
December 2020: 3.47%
December 2018: 2.5%
December 2019: 2.3%
December 2020: 2.3%
Crude Oil ($ per bbl):
for 12/31/2018: $70.41
for 12/31/2019: $68.14
for 12/31/2020: $65.51
(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