The November 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The November 2018 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on November 15, 2018.  The headline is “Economists Split on Whether Outcome of Midterms Will Increase or Decrease Uncertainty.”

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:

Half of economists expected the next recession to start in 2020—the year of the next presidential election—and just over 70% of respondents said that there was a greater risk that economic growth would undershoot their forecasts over the next 12 months than overshoot.


One point economists appeared to agree on is they expected the labor market to remain strong.

They estimated employers need to add just over 127,000 jobs a month over the next 12 months for the U.S. economy absorb new workers into the labor force and hold the unemployment rate steady.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 19.55%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 50%.  For reference, the average response in October’s survey was 17.64%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s respondents were 58 academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.  The survey was conducted November 9 – November 13, 2018.

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:


full-year 2018:  3.1%

full-year 2019:  2.3%

full-year 2020:  1.8%

full-year 2021:  1.8%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2018: 3.6%

December 2019: 3.5%

December 2020: 3.6%

December 2021: 3.9%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2018: 3.23%

December 2019: 3.53%

December 2020: 3.45%

December 2021: 3.47%


December 2018:  2.30%

December 2019:  2.40%

December 2020:  2.20%

December 2021:  2.20%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2018: $64.00

for 12/31/2019: $65.27

for 12/31/2020: $63.13

for 12/31/2021: $61.94

(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 2728.23 as this post is written