The October 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The October 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on October 11, 2018.  The headline is “WSJ Survey:  Economists Increasingly Confident of Fed Rate Hikes.”

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:

Private economists have continued to raise their projections for interest rates through next year, showing greater agreement with the Federal Reserve’s expectations, according to The Wall Street Journal’s latest survey.

All 57 respondents expected the Fed to raise its benchmark federal-funds rate once more this year. Looking further ahead, 42% forecast three central-bank rate rises in 2019, while 21% project four. In last month’s survey, the shares were 41% and 17%, respectively.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 17.64%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 50%.  For reference, the average response in September’s survey was 17.73%.

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 October 5 – October 9, 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:  1.8%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2018: 3.7%

December 2019: 3.6%

December 2020: 3.8%

December 2021: 4.1%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2018: 3.24%

December 2019: 3.50%

December 2020: 3.47%

December 2021: 3.53%


December 2018:  2.50%

December 2019:  2.30%

December 2020:  2.30%

December 2021:  2.20%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2018: $73.72

for 12/31/2019: $70.86

for 12/31/2020: $68.27

for 12/31/2021: $66.33

(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 2744.12 as this post is written