Friday, October 14, 2011

The October 2011 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The October Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published today, October 13, 2011.  The headline is "U.S. Incomes Seen Stagnant Through 2021 .”

I found various aspects of the survey to be interesting, including the following excerpts:
Americans' incomes have dropped since 2000 and they aren't expected to make up the lost ground before 2021, according to economists in the latest Wall Street Journal forecasting survey.
From 2000 to 2010, median income in the U.S. declined 7% after adjusting for inflation, according to Census data. That marks the worst 10-year performance in records going back to 1967. On average, the economists expect inflation-adjusted incomes to rise over the next decade, but the 5% projected gain isn't enough to reach prerecession levels.
The economists, on average, put nearly 1-in-3 odds of another downturn hitting the U.S. economy in the next 12 months.
In the detail (spreadsheet), there are a variety of notable questions and responses.  Here are a couple regarding Recession Risk and Standard of Living :

Recession Risk

Please estimate on a scale of 0 to 100 the probability of a recession in the U.S. in the next 12 months.

Average 31%

Selection of comments:

-We're skating on very thin ice!

-We have very little control over our own economy.

-There is too much money around for a recession.

Standard of Living

Will the current generation of college graduates have a higher standard of living than their parents?

Yes 70%

No  30%

Selection of comments:

-Yes it is a challenging environment today but this too will pass.

-Depends on how defined but basically no.

-Anti-business political environment will pass, American dream is intact.


The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:


full-year 2011 : 1.5%
full-year 2012:  2.3%
full-year 2013:  2.7%

Unemployment Rate:

December 2011: 9.1%
December 2012: 8.7%
December 2013: 8.2%

10-Year Treasury Yield:

December 2011: 2.15%
December 2012: 2.9%


December 2011:  3.1%
December 2012:  2.2%
December 2013:  2.4%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):

for 12/31/2011: $86.47
for 12/31/2012: $91.08

(note: I comment upon this survey each month; commentary on past surveys can be found under the “Economic Forecasts” label)

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this blog 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 1203.66 as this post is written

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