The April 2020 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The April 2020 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on April 8, 2020.  The headline is “WSJ Survey: Coronavirus to Cause Deep U.S. Contraction, 13% Unemployment.”

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:

The coronavirus pandemic will cause a severe economic contraction, 14.4 million job losses and a spike in the unemployment rate this spring, with an economic recovery starting the second half of the year, economists forecast in a Wall Street Journal survey.

Business and academic economists in this month’s survey expect, on average, that the unemployment rate will hit 13% in June this year, and still be at 10% in December. The jobless rate was 4.4% in March.


Economists predict gross domestic product will contract at an annual rate of 25% in the second quarter. That is a sharp downgrade from the March survey of economists, when they expected GDP to shrink just 0.1% from April to June.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to the odds of another recession starting within the next 12 months was 96.24%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 15% to 100%.  For reference, the average response in March’s survey was 48.8%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s 57 respondents were academic, financial and business economists.  Not every economist answered every question.  The survey was conducted April 3 – April 7, 2020.

Economic Forecasts

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:


full-year 2020:  -4.90%

full-year 2021:  5.08%

full-year 2022:  2.59%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2020: 9.66%

December 2021: 6.54%

December 2022: 4.88%

December 2023: 4.63%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2020: .95%

December 2021: 1.41%

December 2022: 1.83%


December 2020:  .62%

December 2021:  2.02%

December 2022:  2.34%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2020: $34.94

for 12/31/2021: $45.19

for 12/31/2022: $51.74

(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 2743.10 as this post is written