Three years ago, I started this blog with my top 10 predictions for 2011. I also polled readers on these same predictions. At the end of the year, my accuracy rate was 40%, while my readers were right 50% of the time. I continued the tradition with my top 10 predictions for 2012. At year end, both my and my readers’ accuracy rate was 40%.
I am continuing this tradition in 2013 with my top 10 predictions for 2013. This year, my predictions were more accurate than those of my readers with an accuracy rate of 80% vs. 40%.
Since I like to hold myself accountable for things I wrote in the past, now is the time I assess how I (and my readers) did.
To make things easier, I have included my original post in its entirety, but have included the results below each prediction in blue (if I was correct) and red (if I was wrong). I will also use the same coding methodology for my readers.
Note: I have been unable to close these polls because I have been having technical issues with Polldaddy.com. The results in the post below are the statistics I had available at the time I wrote this post. I urge you not to vote on any of the predictions; just select “View Results” below each poll to see how readers voted.
Without further ado, here are my predictions with the subsequent results:
Finance and Economics
1. With U.S. election uncertainty in the rear view mirror, more certainty regarding tax policy, the U.S. entering a recovery after a credit-driven recession and economic slowdown, and continued loose monetary policy, the S&P 500 ends the year up over 10%.
Result: The S&P 500 ended the year up 29.6% at 1,848.
My prediction was directionally correct and sufficiently ambiguous to be right. My readers, however, were mostly wrong, with only ~3% of them correctly predicting the result. That said, the options they had in the poll were far more granular than my answer. Therefore, if I include everyone who selected a return that was greater than 10%, 38% of my readers would have been correct, which still falls short of the 50% threshold required for the readership to be “right.”
2. Unemployment ends the year at or above 7%.
Result: The unemployment rate was 7.0% in November, the last date for which employment data was available in 2013.
Both my and my readers’ predictions (54% of readers) were correct.
3. Oil ends the year at above $110 per barrel, primarily because of increased economic growth coupled with continuing geopolitical uncertainty regarding Iran’s nuclear program.
Result: Benchmark U.S. crude ended the year trading at $98.42 per barrel. Brent crude ended the year at $110.80 per barrel.
Since Brent crude prices ended higher than $110, my prediction was correct. Since only 11% of my readers predicted crude oil would price below $100 per barrel and 26% predicted it would fall between $111 and 125 per barrel, only 37% correctly predicted that one of these two prices would be in the correct range.
4. The United States and/or Israel conducts a strategic bombing campaign targeting Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.
Result: Neither the United States nor Israel bombed Iran in 2013.
For the second year in a row, I was way off on this prediction, and my readers were stalemated at 50/50.
5. Despite tough talk by the United Nations, the Syrian Uprising continues.
Result: The Syrian uprising continues.
Both I and my readers (55% of respondents) were correct.
6. The China-Japan dispute over the Senkaku Islands escalates in 2013.
Result: The situation escalated in 2013 with the Chinese declaring an air exclusion zone over international airspace. Japan, the United States and South Korea all responded by sending aircraft through the zone.
My prediction was correct, but only 37% of my readers agreed with me.
7. Congress proposes, but fails to pass, an assault weapons ban.
Result: Senator Dianne Feinstein proposed a ban, but the Senate did include it in its gun bill.
My prediction was correct, but only 45% of my readers agreed with me.
8. President Obama chooses Dr. Ashton Carter as the twenty-fourth Secretary of Defense.
Result: President Obama decided to choose Chuck Hagel, a far less capable candidate than Dr. Carter.
My prediction was wrong and only 46% of my readers chose Hagel.
9. The Senate swiftly confirms Senator Kerry as Secretary of State.
Result: Senator Kerry’s confirmation as Secretary of State sailed through the Senate without a hitch.
Both I and my readers (91% of respondents) were correct.
10. A Democrat picks up Kerry’s Senate seat in a 2013 special election.
Result: Democrat Edward J. Markey won Senator John Kerry’s Senate seat.
Both I and my readers (79% of respondents) were correct.
The final tally for correct 2013 predictions is as follows:
Reflections of a Rational Republican: 80% accuracy
Readers: 40% accuracy