The January 2019 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The January 2019 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on January 10, 2019.  The headline is “Economists See U.S. Recession Risks Rising.”

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:

On average, economists surveyed in the past week as part of The Wall Street Journal’s monthly poll said there was a 25% chance of a recession in the next year, the highest level since October 2011. The probability was just 13% a year ago.


Forecasters are even more concerned about the outlook for 2020. More than half of the economists, 56.6%, said they expected a recession to start in 2020, a presidential election year, while another 26.4% of those surveyed expect a recession in 2021.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 24.80%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 60%.  For reference, the average response in December’s survey was 22.02%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s respondents were 73 academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.  The survey was conducted January 4 – January 8, 2019.

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:


full-year 2018:  3.1%

full-year 2019:  2.2%

full-year 2020:  1.7%

full-year 2021:  1.8%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2019: 3.6%

December 2020: 3.9%

December 2021: 4.2%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2019: 3.10%

December 2020: 3.12%

December 2021: 3.18%


December 2018:  2.00%

December 2019:  2.20%

December 2020:  2.20%

December 2021:  2.20%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2019: $56.50

for 12/31/2020: $58.31

for 12/31/2021: $58.80

(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 2592.11 as this post is written