Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The February 2012 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey

The February Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey was published on February 13, 2012.  The headline is “Rosier View Has Familiar Ring.”

The commentary largely focuses on the economic forecasts of 2011 and their accuracy, as well as thoughts as to the economic characteristics of 2012.  Additionally, within the article was a link that detailed how the economists were ranked for their 2011 predictions.

While I found many aspects of the article to be interesting, here are the excerpts I found most notable:
Economists, once bitten, are being cautious this time around. In The Wall Street Journal's latest forecasting survey, conducted this month, economists predicted only modestly faster growth this year than last. They expect gross domestic product to increase 2.5% this year, up from the 1.6% it grew in 2011. That's their strongest expectation in five months, but it still represents slower growth than they predicted a year ago.
The 49 economists who participated in the latest Journal survey—not all answered every question—put the odds of a recession in the next year at just 16%, down from a 33% chance as recently as September.
Also, as seen in the Q&A section (in the spreadsheet), there were various questions.  Perhaps the most interesting was titled "Forecast Risks," which included the question "Is the risk to your 2012 forecast more to the upside or downside?", to which 60% responded to the upside and 40% to the downside.

The current average forecasts among economists polled include the following:

full-year 2012:  2.5%
full-year 2013:  2.7%
full-year 2014:  3.1%

Unemployment Rate:
December 2012: 8.0%
December 2013: 7.4%
December 2014:  6.8%

10-Year Treasury Yield:
December 2012: 2.62%
December 2013: 3.28%
December 2014:  3.80%

December 2012:  2.2%
December 2013:  2.4%
December 2014:  2.6%

Crude Oil  ($ per bbl):
for 12/31/2012: $97.17

(note: I comment upon this WSJ Economic Forecast 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 1351.77 as this post is written

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