The February 2019 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The February 2019 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on February 7, 2019.  The headline is “ Most Economists Say Fresh Government Shutdown Would Hurt U.S. Growth.”

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:

In response to a separate question, most forecasters, 45.7%, said they expect the next recession to start in 2020, while 39.1% predicted it will start in 2021.


More than three-quarters of forecasters, 76.4%, said they saw a greater risk that the economy would grow more slowly than it would grow faster. While that was a drop from 83.9% in January, it remains a sign of pessimism about the outlook. This time a year ago, fewer than 30% of respondents saw the risk to their growth forecast as tilted to the downside.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 24.53%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 60%.  For reference, the average response in January’s survey was 24.80%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s respondents were 62 academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.  The survey was conducted February 1 – February 5, 2019.

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:


full-year 2018:  3.0%

full-year 2019:  2.2%

full-year 2020:  1.7%

full-year 2021:  1.8%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2019: 3.7%

December 2020: 3.8%

December 2021: 4.1%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2019: 3.04%

December 2020: 3.08%

December 2021: 3.11%


December 2018:  2.00%

December 2019:  2.20%

December 2020:  2.20%

December 2021:  2.20%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2019: $58.40

for 12/31/2020: $58.91

for 12/31/2021: $58.41

(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 2696.27 as this post is written