The October 2020 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The October 2020 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on October 8, 2020. The headline is “WSJ Survey: 43% of Economists Don’t See U.S. Gaining Back Lost Jobs Until 2023.”

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:

Economists in the April survey expected that on average, payrolls would recover to their February 2020 level in just over two years, by the third quarter of 2022.

In this month’s survey, just over a third of economists, 34.7%, broadly stuck with that timeline and said payrolls would recover in 2022. A larger share, 42.9%, now see the labor market recovering in 2023, and another 12.2% expect it will take even longer—with 2% expecting it will take until 2030.


Most economists in this month’s survey said the outlook for a recovery in gross domestic product is notably faster than for jobs. More than half of economists, 57.4%, expected that in 2021, economic output will return to the seasonally and inflation-adjusted level of its prior peak in the final quarter of 2019. A further 18.5% of economists expected GDP to recover to its previous peak by the first quarter of 2022.

As seen in the “Recession Probability” section, the average response as to whether the economy will be in a recession within the next 12 months was 31.68%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 100%.  For reference, the average response in September’s survey was 36.93%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s 63 respondents were academic, financial and business economists.  The survey was conducted October 2 – October 6. Not every economist answered every question.

Economic Forecasts

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:


full-year 2020:  -3.58%

full-year 2021:  3.70%

full-year 2022:  3.02%

full-year 2023:  2.41%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2020: 7.76%

December 2021: 6.21%

December 2022: 5.17%

December 2023: 4.65%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2020: .76%

December 2021: 1.10%

December 2022: 1.50%

December 2023: 1.85%


December 2020:  1.18%

December 2021:  2.01%

December 2022:  2.13%

December 2023:  2.16%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2020: $41.19

for 12/31/2021: $46.54

for 12/31/2022: $49.93

for 12/31/2023: $53.21

(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 3446.83 as this post is written