WSJ survey of economists indicates that the probability of a US recession is down sharply

The latest Wall Street Journal (gated) survey of economists lowered the probability of a recession within the next year to 39%

  • from 48% in the October survey

Reasoning cited included:

  • interest rates are trending lower
  • gas prices are down from last year
  • incomes are growing faster than inflation

The economists on average expect the economy to grow just 1% in 2024

  • about half its normal long-run rate
  • a significant slowing from an estimated 2.6% in 2023

Employers are expected to keep adding jobs in 2024, but at a much slower pace than in recent years

  • payroll gains to average 64,000 a month this year, less than a third of the 225,000 average in 2023
  • expect the unemployment rate will climb to 4.3% by the end of the year
  • The Journal adds that a 0.6 percentage point increase in the jobless rate would imply a net one million more Americans unemployed by the end of the year and that much of an increase in unemployment has almost always occurred during recessions, according to one widely followed rule.

Economists see inflation (the personal-consumption expenditures price index, excluding food and energy) falling to 2.3% at the end of 2024 from 3.2% this past November.

The Fed … roughly a third of the economists expect the first rate cut at the April 30-May 1 meeting, and just over a third at the June 11-12 gathering.


This article was written by Eamonn Sheridan at Source