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Weekly Digest:

Clash of the Titans IV

Supported by PwC

     

#cott2014

       

On the 18th December 2014, the Economic Research Council hosted the fourth annual "Clash of the Titans" event.  We invited three notable economic alumni from the top three university economics departments in the country (Kate Barker from Oxford, John Llewellyn from Cambridge, and Michael McMahon from LSE) to give their predictions for the year ahead.

We asked them to focus on a number of categories:

  • UK GDP growth (Quarterly, % change)
  • UK Inflation Rate (CPI All Items, % change on previous year, averaged over 3 month period)
  • UK Unemployment Rate (Quarterly, all 16 and over, SA)
  • UK Interest Rate (Quarterly average of the official Bank Rate)
  • UK Average Earnings Growth (Quarterly % growth on same 3 month period in previous year, excluding bonuses and arrears)
  • Tie-breaker: The weakest that the Japanese Yen will be to the US Dollar between 1st January and 30th November 2015.

So far, Cambridge, Oxford and LSE have all won one year each, so this year's winner will take the lead.  You can see a list of previous winners of the competition here.

As of 28th July (Q2 GDP Growth):

Official Competition Standings
Pos Score
1. LSE (Michael McMahon) 34
2. Cambridge (John Llewellyn) 41
3. Oxford (Kate Barker) 45
Top 3 Public Predictions
Pos Score
1. Nathan Noerr 22
2. Andrew Sentance 24
3. Michael Baxter 26 (2)
(Click here for the full public list)
Top 3 University Teams
Pos Score
1. Oxford 93
2. Nottingham 99
3. Cambridge 100
(Click here for the full university list)
(The score is calculated as the sum of the absolute differences between the predictions and reality, multiplied by ten; lowest score wins.  The number in brackets represents the tie-breaker score where appropriate).

 

Below are their predictions in more detail:

Actual Data

  Q4 '14Q1 '15Q2 '15Q3 '15
GDP 0.8 0.4 0.7* 27/10/15
Inflation 0.9 0.1 0.0 13/10/15
Unemployment 5.7 5.5 12/08/15 11/11/15
Interest Rates 0.5 0.5 0.5 10/09/15
Average Earnings 1.7 2.2 12/08/15 11/11/15
Yen to Dollar 126 (7th June)

(Dates indicate when they will be announced)
*Preliminary estimate. Second estimate due on 28th August.

 

Average Forecast 

  Q4 '14Q1 '15Q2 '15Q3 '15
GDP 0.7 (-0.1) 0.7 (+0.3) 0.7 (+0.0) 0.7
Inflation 1.2 (+0.3) 1.2 (+1.1) 1.3 (+1.3) 1.4
Unemployment 5.9 (+0.2) 5.8 (+0.3) 5.7 5.7
Interest Rates 0.5 (+0.0) 0.5 (+0.0) 0.6 (+0.1) 0.7
Average Earnings 1.3 (-0.4) 1.5 (-0.7) 1.6 1.7
Yen to Dollar 132

 

Kate Barker (Oxford) 

  Q4 '14Q1 '15Q2 '15Q3 '15
GDP 0.9 (+0.1) 0.8 (+0.4) 0.7 (+0.0) 0.5
Inflation 1.1 (+0.2) 0.9 (+0.8) 1.2 (+1.2) 1.8
Unemployment 5.8 (+0.1) 5.7 (+0.2) 5.6 5.6
Interest Rates 0.5 (+0.0) 0.7 (+0.2) 0.8 (+0.3) 0.9
Average Earnings 1.2 (-0.5) 1.7 (-0.5) 2.1 2.4
Yen to Dollar 135

 

John Llewellyn (Cambridge) 

  Q4 '14Q1 '15Q2 '15Q3 '15
GDP 0.6 (-0.2) 0.6 (+0.2) 0.6 (-0.1) 0.7
Inflation 1.2 (+0.3) 0.9 (+0.8) 1.1 (+1.1) 1.3
Unemployment 5.9 (+0.2) 5.8 (+0.3) 5.7 5.6
Interest Rates 0.5 (+0.0) 0.5 (+0.0) 0.5 (+0.0) 0.8
Average Earnings 1.4 (-0.3) 1.6 (-0.6) 1.8 2.1
Yen to Dollar 135

 

Michael McMahon (LSE) 

  Q4 '14Q1 '15Q2 '15Q3 '15
GDP 0.7 (-0.1) 0.7 (+0.3) 0.65 (-0.05) 0.6
Inflation 1.1 (+0.2) 1.0 (+0.9) 0.9 (+0.9) 1.3
Unemployment 5.8 (+0.1) 5.7 (+0.2) 5.7 5.6
Interest Rates 0.5 (+0.0) 0.5 (+0.0) 0.5 (+0.0) 0.7
Average Earnings 1.5 (-0.2) 1.8 (-0.4) 2.1 2.4
Yen to Dollar 130