The January 2021 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The January 2021 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on January 14, 2021. The headline is “WSJ Survey: U.S. Economic Growth Will Exceed 4% in 2021.”

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.

An excerpt:

The U.S. economy will grow 4.3% this year, as the country exits the grip of the coronavirus pandemic, economists forecast in a Wall Street Journal survey.

Economists raised their growth prediction for 2021 U.S. gross domestic product in the January survey, saying vaccinations and the prospect of additional financial relief from Washington for individuals and businesses brightened economic prospects. The latest 2021 growth prediction, measured from the fourth quarter of the prior year, was a sharp increase from the 3.7% growth forecast for 2021 in last month’s survey.

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 21.2%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 100%.  For reference, the average response in December’s survey was 23.63%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s 68 respondents were academic, financial and business economists.  The survey was conducted January 8 – January 12. Not every economist answered every question.

Economic Forecasts

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:


full-year 2020:  -2.53%

full-year 2021:  4.26%

full-year 2022:  3.03%

full-year 2023:  2.41%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2021: 5.34%

December 2022: 4.59%

December 2023: 4.27%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2021: 1.44%

December 2022: 1.77%

December 2023: 2.10%


December 2021:  2.14%

December 2022:  2.22%

December 2023:  2.23%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2021: $52.54

for 12/31/2022: $55.05

for 12/31/2023: $56.65

(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 3818.28 as this post is written