Q1 '13 Unemployment: 7.8
Average Prediction: 8.0
Number of Correct Forecasts: 39/310
Current Greek Bond Yield Low: 8.93 (15th May)
The first quarter of 2013 represents the third consecutive quarter of 7.8% unemployment. However, the actual number of unemployed people is up slightly on last quarter, and now stands at 2.52 million.
Out of the three professors in our official competition, LSE's Ethan Ilzetzki once again came closest to the actual outcome with his forecast of 7.7%. This means he is now starting to pull away from Oxford and Cambridge, who gave far more pessimistic predictions of 8.3% and 8.5% respectively.
39 out of the 310 entrants correctly predicted that unemployment would be 7.8% at this point, and 35% forecast a figure between 7.7% and 7.9%. More than twice as many forecasters thought unemployment would be higher than 7.8% than lower.
The next competition update is due on 23rd May, when the second estimate of GDP is released. It was previously estimated to be 0.3%, which was higher than many people expected, so we may very well see it revised downwards slightly.