1/14 – The U.S. economy was humming in 2018. Employers added 220,000 jobs/month (on average) in 2018, well above 2017’s 182,000 monthly pace. But the outlook for 2019 is not nearly as rosy. A Wall Street Journal survey of 73 economists in early January showed a consensus forecast for an average GDP growth rate of 3.0% in 2018 will be followed by sharp declines to 2.2% in 2019 and 1.7% in 2020. Surveyed economists said there was a 25% chance of a recession in the next 12 months. That probability was just 13% a year ago. More than half of the economists, 56.6%, said they expected a recession to start in 2020, while another 26.4% of those surveyed expect a recession in 2021. In December, the Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook Survey showed 49% of American CFOs expecting a recession by the end of 2019 and 80% by the end of 2020.