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Weekly Digest:

Clash of the Titans III

Supported by PwC

     

       

On the 10th December 2013, the Economic Research Council hosted the third annual "Clash of the Titans" event.  We invited three notable economic alumni from the top three university economics departments in the country (Stephen King from Oxford, Kevin Daly from Cambridge, and Ros Altmann 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 highest point that the US S&P 500 would reach in 2014

You can see a list of previous winners of the competition here.

Final Results:

Official Competition Standings
Pos Score
1. Cambridge (Kevin Daly) 72
2. Oxford (Stephen King) 95
3. LSE (Ros Altmann) 111
Top 3 Public Predictions
Pos Score
1. Dilip Shah 51
2. Renata Marin 57 (173)
3. Robert Vaughan 57 (323)
(Click here for the full public list)
Top 3 University Teams
Pos Score
1. Oxford 208
2. Cambridge 211
3. Nottingham 212
(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 '13Q1 '14Q2 '14Q3 '14
GDP 0.6 0.7 0.9 0.7
Inflation 2.1 1.7 1.7 1.4
Unemployment 7.2 6.8 6.3 6.0
Interest Rates 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Average Earnings 1.0 1.3 0.7 1.3
US S&P 500 2073 (26th November)

 

Average Forecast 

  Q4 '13Q1 '14Q2 '14Q3 '14
GDP 0.8 (+0.2) 0.7 (+0.0) 0.8 (-0.1) 0.8 (+0.1)
Inflation 2.4 (+0.3) 2.4 (+0.7) 2.4 (+0.7) 2.5 (+1.1)
Unemployment 7.5 (+0.3) 7.5 (+0.7) 7.4 (+1.1) 7.3 (+1.3)
Interest Rates 0.5 (+0.0) 0.5 (+0.0) 0.5 (+0.0) 0.6 (+0.1)
Average Earnings 1.1 (+0.1) 1.4 (+0.1) 1.4 (+0.7) 1.5 (+0.2)
US S&P 500 1957

 

Kevin Daly (Cambridge) 

  Q4 '13Q1 '14Q2 '14Q3 '14
GDP 0.9 (+0.3) 0.6 (-0.1) 0.6 (-0.3) 0.6 (-0.1)
Inflation 2.2 (+0.1) 2.1 (+0.4) 2.3 (+0.6) 2.2 (+0.8)
Unemployment 7.5 (+0.3) 7.4 (+0.6) 7.4 (+1.1) 7.3 (+1.3)
Interest Rates 0.5 (+0.0) 0.5 (+0.0) 0.5 (+0.0) 0.5 (+0.0)
Average Earnings 1.2 (+0.2) 1.9 (+0.6) 0.5 (-0.2) 1.5 (+0.2)
US S&P 500 1925

 

Ros Altmann (LSE) 

  Q4 '13Q1 '14Q2 '14Q3 '14
GDP 0.9 (+0.3) 1.1 (+0.4) 1.3 (+0.4) 1.2 (+0.5)
Inflation 2.4 (+0.3) 1.9 (+0.2) 2.1 (+0.4) 2.0 (+0.6)
Unemployment 7.5 (+0.3) 7.4 (+0.6) 7.3 (+1.0) 7.2 (+1.2)
Interest Rates 0.5 (+0.0) 0.5 (+0.0) 0.5 (+0.0) 0.75 (+0.25)
Average Earnings 1.1 (+0.1) 2.3 (+1.0) 2.6 (+1.9) 2.9 (+1.6)
US S&P 500 1860

 

Stephen King (Oxford) 

  Q4 '13Q1 '14Q2 '14Q3 '14
GDP 0.8 (+0.2) 0.6 (-0.1) 0.6 (-0.3) 0.6 (-0.1)
Inflation 2.1 (+0.0) 2.0 (+0.3) 2.4 (+0.7) 2.5 (+1.1)
Unemployment 7.6 (+0.4) 7.5 (+0.7) 7.5 (+1.2) 7.4 (+1.4)
Interest Rates 0.5 (+0.0) 0.5 (+0.0) 0.5 (+0.0) 0.5 (+0.0)
Average Earnings 1.4 (+0.4) 2.1 (+0.8) 1.8 (+1.1) 2.0 (+0.7)
US S&P 500 1900