The January 2020 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The January 2020 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on January 16, 2020.  The headline is “WSJ Survey: U.S., China Agreement Will Boost 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:

On average, forecasters expected GDP would expand 1.9% this year, measured from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the fourth quarter of this year, compared with an anticipated 2.3% in 2019. GDP increased 2.5% in 2018 from the year-earlier fourth quarter and 2.8% in 2017, according to the Commerce Department. Economists saw the unemployment rate, which was 3.5% in December, ticking up to 3.6% in December 2020.


Still, economists were broadly upbeat for 2020. The probability of a recession this year ticked down in January to 24%, the lowest average since last May.

About 30% of economists said they expect the next recession to start in 2021, and another 30% see one in 2022. Roughly 14% expect it in 2023.

As mentioned above, as well as seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 23.97%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 67%.  For reference, the average response in December’s survey was 25.85%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s 71 respondents were academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.  The survey was conducted January 10 – January 14, 2020.

Economic Forecasts

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:


full-year 2019:  2.27%

full-year 2020:  1.87%

full-year 2021:  1.97%

full-year 2022:  1.97%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2020: 3.62%

December 2021: 3.83%

December 2022: 4.04%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2020: 2.03%

December 2021: 2.25%

December 2022: 2.53%


December 2020:  1.99%

December 2021:  2.16%

December 2022:  2.22%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2020: $57.41

for 12/31/2021: $58.12

for 12/31/2022: $57.82

(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 3316.81 as this post is written