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Weekly Digest:

Clash of the Titans V

Supported by PwC

     

#cott15

       

On 2nd December 2015, the Economic Research Council hosted the fifth annual "Clash of the Titans" event.  We invited three notable economic alumni from the top three university economics departments in the country (Sean Holly from Cambridge, Rain Newton-Smith from LSE, and Jonathan Portes from Oxford) 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 most expensive that a barrel of Brent Crude oil will be (in dollars) between 5th January and 31st October 2016.

We are no longer accepting entries to this year's public competition.  Final results will be announced on 17/11/16, but we will be updating the scoreboard on this page as the year progresses.  You can see a list of previous winners of the competition here.

Standings as of 30th August (Q2 GDP Second Estimate):

Official Competition Standings
Pos Score
1. Cambridge (Sean Holly) 29
2. Oxford (Jonathan Portes) 36
3. LSE (Rain Newton-Smith) 61
Top 3 Public Predictions
Pos Score
1= Dilip Shah 11 (1)
1= Jonathan Gusson 11 (1)
3. Steve Fenn 11 (5)
(Click here for the full public list)
Top 3 University Teams
Pos Score
1. Sheffield 55
2. Oxford 56
3. LSE 58
(Click here for the full university team 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 '15Q1 '16Q2 '16Q3 '16
GDP 0.7 0.4 0.6* 27/10/16
Inflation 0.1 0.4 0.4 18/10/16
Unemployment 5.1 5.1 4.9 16/11/16
Interest Rates 0.5 0.5 0.5 15/09/16
Average Earnings 2.0 2.1 2.3 16/11/16
Oil Price High $53 (8th June)

(Dates indicate when they will be announced)
*Preliminary estimate. Final estimate due 30/09/16.

 

Average Forecast (557 Entries) 

  Q4 '15Q1 '16Q2 '16Q3 '16
GDP 0.6 (-0.1) 0.6 (+0.2) 0.6 (+0.0) 0.6
Inflation 0.1 (+0.0) 0.3 (-0.1) 0.5 (+0.1) 0.7
Unemployment 5.2 (+0.1) 5.2 (+0.1) 5.2 (+0.3) 5.2
Interest Rates 0.5 (+0.0) 0.5 (+0.0) 0.6 (+0.1) 0.7
Average Earnings 2.4 (+0.4) 2.5 (+0.4) 2.5 (+0.2) 2.5
Oil Price High $66

 

Sean Holly (Cambridge) 

  Q4 '15Q1 '16Q2 '16Q3 '16
GDP 0.9 (+0.2) 0.6 (+0.2) 0.7 (+0.1) 0.7
Inflation -0.1 (-0.2) 0.0 (-0.4) 0.5 (+0.1) 1.0
Unemployment 5.3 (+0.2) 5.2 (+0.1) 5.2 (+0.3) 5.1
Interest Rates 0.5 (+0.0) 0.5 (+0.0) 0.5 (+0.0) 0.5
Average Earnings 2.5 (+0.5) 2.5 (+0.4) 2.5 (+0.2) 2.5
Oil Price High $55

 

Rain Newton-Smith (LSE) 

  Q4 '15Q1 '16Q2 '16Q3 '16
GDP 0.7 (+0.0) 0.7 (+0.3) 0.7 (+0.1) 0.6
Inflation 0.2 (+0.1) 1.0 (+0.6) 1.2 (+0.8) 1.4
Unemployment 5.3 (+0.2) 5.3 (+0.2) 5.3 (+0.4) 5.3
Interest Rates 0.5 (+0.0) 0.5 (+0.0) 0.7 (+0.2) 0.8
Average Earnings 3.0 (+1.0) 3.3 (+1.2) 3.3 (+1.0) 3.7
Oil Price High $66

 

Jonathan Portes (Oxford) 

  Q4 '15Q1 '16Q2 '16Q3 '16
GDP 0.6 (-0.1) 0.4 (+0.0) 0.3 (-0.3) 0.3
Inflation -0.1 (-0.2) 0.0 (-0.4) 0.3 (-0.1) 0.5
Unemployment 5.1 (+0.0) 5.1 (+0.0) 5.2 (+0.3) 5.2
Interest Rates 0.5 (+0.0) 0.6 (+0.1) 0.8 (+0.3) 0.8
Average Earnings 2.8 (+0.8) 2.7 (+0.6) 2.7 (+0.4) 2.7
Oil Price High $74