The August 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The August 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on August 9, 2018.  The headline is “Growth Seen Hitting 3% in 2018, but Risks to Outlook Mount After This Year.”

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 average forecast for growth in 2019 was 2.4%, little changed in recent months. By 2020, the average forecaster projects economic growth will slow to 1.8%. That is down from estimates earlier this year of 2%.

Trump administration officials disagree with these projections. The White House has said 3% growth or better can be sustained. Other government forecasters, including the Federal Reserve, Congressional Budget Office and International Monetary Fund all project a slowdown from the growth rate of 2018. The Fed, for example, sees 2% growth in 2020 and 1.8% growth in the long run.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 18.3%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 1% to 50%.  For reference, the average response in July’s survey was 17.71%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s respondents were 57 academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.  The survey was conducted August 3 – August 7, 2018.

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:


full-year 2018:  3.0%

full-year 2019:  2.4%

full-year 2020:  1.8%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2018: 3.7%

December 2019: 3.6%

December 2020: 3.9%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2018: 3.17%

December 2019: 3.46%

December 2020: 3.50%


December 2018:  2.5%

December 2019:  2.4%

December 2020:  2.3%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2018: $69.91

for 12/31/2019: $67.52

for 12/31/2020: $65.66

(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 2833.28 as this post is written