The Clash of the Titans Blog


LSE wins Clash of the Titans IV

Michael McMahon, Research Affiliate at the Centre for Macroeconomics at LSE and Professor of Economics at Warwick University, has won the fourth annual Clash of the Titans economic forecasting competition, finishing ahead of Oxford's John Llewellyn and Cambridge's Kate Barker.

For the second year in a row, the competition (which was once again supported by PwC) was largely won on the strength of the winner's earnings growth forecasts, although Michael was also closer than his fellow Titans in his predictions for what would happen to inflation (although the scale of the oil price shock caught all three out).

The winning forecasts:

  Q4 '14Q1 '15Q2 '15Q3 '15
GDP 0.7 0.7 0.65 0.6
Inflation 1.1 1.0 0.9 1.3
Unemployment 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.6
Interest Rates 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.7
Average Earnings 1.5 1.8 2.1 2.4


Michael's victory means that LSE take the lead in the series, having won the competition twice in the past compared to Oxford's and Cambridge's single win each.  You can find out more about previous winners by clicking here.

In the public competition, Nathan Noerr came first overall, overtaking Dilip Shah (who won last year's competition, and came very close to winning it two years in a row) in the final update.  Michael Baxter came third.  Congratulations to all three on their great achievement.

Here are Nathan's winning forecasts:

  Q4 '14Q1 '15Q2 '15Q3 '15
GDP 0.8 0.8 0.7 0.6
Inflation 0.9 0.8 0.8 1.2
Unemployment 5.7 5.6 5.5 5.5
Interest Rates 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.8
Average Earnings 1.7 2.0 2.3 2.6


The next instalment of the Clash of the Titans will take place on 2nd December, when three new representatives will give their forecasts for 2016.  Representing LSE will be Rain Newton-Smith, Director of Economics at the CBI, who will be hoping to extend LSE's lead.  Trying to close the gap will be Jonathan Portes (former Director of the NIESR) representing Oxford and Dr Sean Holly (Director of Research at Cambridge's Faculty of Economics) representing Cambridge.  For more information, and to book your place at this year's event, please click here.

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