Here are my 2015 predictions and what happened. My prior 14-year record is 73% accuracy.
Prediction: Geopolitics, geo-competition and the supply/demand dynamic for crude oil won’t find equilibrium anytime soon, causing prices to fluctuate, but average less than $70 per barrel. Plus 1 - Crude averaged around $50 per barrel for the year
Prediction: With consumers buoyed by low gas prices and six years of recovery fatigue, the U.S. economy will grow, but global economic headwinds and currency influences on exports will result in U.S. annual GDP averaging below 3%. Plus 1 – Owing to a disastrous Q1, annual GDP is closer to 2%.
Prediction: Consumer optimism will produce small business contribution to GDP greater than any year since the Great Recession. Minus 1 – Incredibly, in the sixth post-recession year, consumers, the small business sector and economy are all going in the wrong direction.
Prediction: An improving economy, plus anticipation of a business-friendly 114th Congress will cause an upward trend in small business optimism toward NFIB Index’s 42-year average of 100 points. Minus 1 – NFIB Index reports trend was no better than flat.
Prediction: Small business loan demand will increase as growth opportunities exceed the ability to fund them with organic capital resources. Plus 1 – The increase came mostly from non-traditional sources, like asset-based lenders.
Prediction: With organizational productivity maxed out, even marginal economic growth will cause small and large businesses to increase hiring. Plus 1 – Hiring did increase. But exposing the irrelevance of U3, not enough to drop true unemployment to 5%.
Prediction: Continued concern about the fragility of the U.S. and global economies will cause the Fed to maintain monetary easing by keeping the Fed Funds rate unchanged. Plus 1 – I took a lot of heat on this from every economist I know – most predicted a June rate increase.
Prediction: In King v Burwell, Supreme Court will rule 5-4 that Obamacare was written to exclude subsidies to states with Federal exchanges. Minus 1 – In the Bizarro World of the Roberts’ Court a 6-3 majority contrived that “only” really means “every.”
Prediction: The GOP-controlled Congress and President Obama will agree on tax reform in 2015. Plus 1 – Nothing sweeping, but year-end reforms will help small business.
Prediction: Congressional Republicans will thwart the execution of Obama’s executive order on immigration. Plus 1 – This happened, with help from the Courts.
Prediction: The Sony cyber-assault by North Korea will elevate corporate America cyber-security to a de facto national security level. Plus 1 – Corporate cyber-security spending increased by 20%.
Prediction: Unprecedented foreign state cyber-assault on a U.S. corporation will cause the government to stop companies from responding to such threats on their own. Plus 1 – These conversations did happen.
Prediction: In political theater redux, a Clinton and a Bush will become presidential candidates, but neither will be their party’s front-runners by year-end. Push – Got Bush, missed Clinton. Surprised Bush hasn’t done better and Clinton’s baggage hasn’t hurt her.
Prediction: Oregon will defeat Florida State in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day. Plus 1 – A 59-20 whuppin’.
Prediction: Alabama will win the inaugural NCAA Division I Championship Game Jan10. Minus 1 – My first ever football miss.
Write this on a rock …This year I went 11 for 16, or 69%, taking my 15-year record to 72.7%. How’d you do?