Here are the results of my 2014 predictions, what happened and my score.
Prediction: Five years after the Great Recession ended, the economy will average less than 3% growth. Actual: Although surging, 2014 GDP will be about 2.3%. Plus 1.
Prediction: Even with a slightly improved economy, small business (SB) optimism levels will still be below the NFIB Index’s 41-year average of 100 points. Actual: NFIB Index 2014 SB optimism is below 95 points. Unfortunately, plus 1.
Prediction: Continued uncertainty for the sixth straight year will make SBs reluctant to invest and borrow money. Actual: NFIB Index shows small businesses loan demand and investing at record low levels. Plus 1.
Prediction: Uncertainty about Obamacare’s impact will cause SBs to continue hiring reluctance. Actual: NFIB and other surveys shows SB hiring still negligible. Plus 1.
Prediction: Obamacare will continue to be an economic headwind in 2014. Actual: Owners and managers continue to identify Obamacare as a significant negative factor in business decisions. Plus 1.
Prediction: More significant than the media favorite U3 unemployment rate, the employment participation rate, currently 63%, will remain at a 38-year (Carter) record low. Actual: Current labor participation is 62.8%. Plus 1.
Prediction: The Fed will discontinue unprecedented quantitative easing (QE) that infused trillions of dollars into Wall Street since 2008 without benefiting Main Street. Actual: Fed ended QE in October. Plus 1.
Prediction: A combination of disruptions will produce a challenging year for Wall Street. Actual: Nothing seems to impede the madness of Wall Street crowds. Can you say bubble? Minus 1.
Prediction: Obamacare’s constitutionality will be challenged by many lawsuits. Actual: Currently 104 lawsuits have been filed against Obamacare, including one before the Supreme Court. Plus 1.
Prediction: Democrats running for re-election in 2014 will run from the president. Actual: No Democrat wanted Mr. Obama anywhere near their campaign, but it still didn’t help. Plus 1.
Prediction: The GOP will regain control of the Senate and maintain a majority in the House in November. Actual: Republicans swept almost everything, from the Senator down to dog catcher at the local level. Plus 1.
Prediction: President Obama will prevail on immigration but will lose on minimum wage. Actual: Immigration win by Obama’s executive order but no minimum wage increase. Plus 1.
Prediction: Hillary Clinton will not announce her 2016 presidential intentions before the mid-term elections. Actual: Everyone knows she’s running; she just hasn’t announced yet. Plus 1.
Prediction: Auburn will defeat Florida State in the BCS Championship Game. Actual: Great game, but the Noles won 34-31. Minus 1.
Write this on a rock …
This year I’m 12 for 14, or 86%, taking my 14-year record to 73% (’08 was a rough year).
Jim Blasingame is author of the award-winning book, The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance.