The February 2021 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The February 2021 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on February 11, 2021. The headline is “Forecasters Lift Expectations for 2021 Economic 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:

Economists on average expected gross domestic product to expand nearly 4.9% this year, measured from the fourth quarter of the prior year, according to the business and academic economists surveyed in February, an improvement from their 4.3% forecast in January. They cited the distribution of Covid-19 vaccinations and the prospect of additional fiscal relief from Washington for the brightening outlook.


“The economy is already picking up some growth momentum in the first quarter,” said Brian Bethune, professor of economics at Boston College. “The large $1.9 trillion stimulus package will provide significant insurance against a relapse into recession,” he said, referring to President Biden’s proposal.

More than half of the respondents said the amount of fiscal aid the economy needs to recover from the coronavirus shock was less than $1 trillion, while only one said that more than $2 trillion was required.

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 17.51%. The individual estimates, of those who responded, ranged from 0% to 79%.  For reference, the average response in January’s survey was 21.2%.

As stated in the article, the survey’s 62 respondents were academic, financial and business economists.  The survey was conducted February 5 – February 9. Not every economist answered every question.

Economic Forecasts

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:


full-year 2021:  4.87%

full-year 2022:  3.07%

full-year 2023:  2.46%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2021: 5.28%

December 2022: 4.46%

December 2023: 4.10%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2021: 1.48%

December 2022: 1.85%

December 2023: 2.18%


December 2021:  2.27%

December 2022:  2.22%

December 2023:  2.21%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2021: $56.39

for 12/31/2022: $58.32

for 12/31/2023: $58.95

(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 3924.78 as this post is written