I submitted a paper to an economics journal. They have promptly replied to let me know that the review process generally takes 12 to 18 months. I also have to give them a go-ahead confirming their policies before they can begin the review (so I could effectively withdraw at this point). Since this is my first paper, I do not want to be too picky about journal timelines. However, I also planned to apply for a PhD at the end of the year (less than 12 months), and was hoping for a better chance to be able to put a publication on my CV.
My question being: should I attempt to get published faster with a different journal, or is this timeline of 12-18 months acceptable to stick around with?