The September 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The September 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on September 13, 2018.  The headline is “Most Economists See Tariff Effects on U.S. Economy As Limited.”

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.

Two excerpts:

Around two-thirds of respondents commented that trade or tariffs were the biggest risks to their economic growth forecasts in the next 12 months.


Back in the January survey, half of economists said the tax cuts signed into law by Mr. Trump in December would boost the economy’s long-run trend at least modestly, while the other half said it would have no effect or leave growth somewhat below its current trajectory.

Nine months later, 35.2% said they would boost the long-run growth outlook modestly, while 44.4% expected the tax cuts would have “little impact” on the long-run growth outlook and 11.1% said the tax cuts would hamper the long-run outlook.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 17.73%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 45%.  For reference, the average response in August’s survey was 18.3%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s respondents were 59 academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.  The survey was conducted September 7 – September 11, 2018.

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:


full-year 2018:  3.1%

full-year 2019:  2.4%

full-year 2020:  1.8%

full-year 2021:  1.9%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2018: 3.7%

December 2019: 3.6%

December 2020: 3.9%

December 2021: 4.0%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2018: 3.13%

December 2019: 3.42%

December 2020: 3.41%

December 2021: 3.44%


December 2018:  2.40%

December 2019:  2.30%

December 2020:  2.20%

December 2021:  2.10%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2018: $69.37

for 12/31/2019: $67.47

for 12/31/2020: $64.53

for 12/31/2021: $64.76

(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 2902.52 as this post is written