It’s college football bowl season and it’s also time to make economic forecasts for 2011. So I am combining these two things and making my “Economy Bowl” predictions. I will use the average forecast of my top seven economists (published at wsj.com) as the “betting line” with my prediction on which “team” will win in 2011.
The GDP Bowl
Pittsburg Positives vs. Detroit Double Dippers
Line: Positives by 2.8% (GDP growth for year)
The Positives had a comeback year in 2010 after a horrible performance in 2009. The momentum is with the Positives going into 2011. Look for uneven growth next year, but to be overall stronger than expected. My pick: Positives by 3.8%
The CPI Bowl (Consumer Price Index)
Indiana Inflators vs. Denver Deflators
Line: Inflators by 1.7% (CPI for year)
Most experts are picking the Inflators by a narrow margin in 2011which means inflation is held in check for another year. However, many investors are putting their “gold” on a bigger Inflator victory. With commodity and gas prices on the rise, I think the panel is a bit low. That’s why I like the Inflators in this one. (In addition, the Deflator cheerleaders are not very bouncy). My pick: Inflators by 2.2%.
The Unemployment Bowl (sponsored by Monster.com)
Jacksonville Jobs vs. Los Angeles Layoffs
Line: Layoffs by 9.2% (unemployment rate at year end)
The employment environment continues to improve and my sources “on the ground” continue to report very positive progress. It is still taking people too long to find jobs, but layoffs are way down. I’m betting on the “Jobs”. My pick: Jobs by 8.7%
The Housing Starts Bowl
Boston Builders vs. Philadelphia Foreclosures
Line: Foreclosures by 700,000 (housing starts for year)
Look for the housing market to bottom out sometime in mid-year. That means the second half of the year will see more housing starts than expected. My pick: Builders by 820,000 starts.
The Price of Crude Bowl (Sponsored by OPEC)
Houston Oilers vs. San Francisco Solars
Line: $88.70 per barrel (year end)
You’ve got a weak dollar, you have greater U.S. demand as the economy grows and you have strong demand growth in China. I’m taking the Oilers big. My pick: Oilers by $93
The Stock Market Bowl
The Bulls vs. The Bears
Line: No consensus
I am picking the Bulls early and then the Bears and then the Bulls again before the Bears rally late. This will set up a big year for the Bulls in 2012. The Model T is now indicating a 2011 high in the S & P 500 Index of around 1,400.
The Blog Year in Review
We started off the year with that great economist Sting signing of a Brand New Day. From there we looked at underwear sales, toilet paper sales and “bucket washers” to try to understand our economic world. We visited the land of Emplovia and Nectarina (land of the Honey Dippers). We gained insight from Billy Banker, Becky Housing, Sammy Subprime, The Frito Bandito and Pooh Bear. Thanks for reading. If you are checking this out on a LindedIn or Facebook group, e-mail me at email@example.com to get put on the mailing list.
A Personal Rollercoaster Ride
2010 was one of the most eventful and challenging years of my life. I felt like I was in one of those “life comes at you fast” commercials except that it wasn’t humorous at all. As the year ends, I feel like I have just exited from the most wild rollercoaster ride of my life. On one hand, I feel exhilarated from the experience. On the other hand, I feel like I could puke at any moment.
Rinnnnnnnnnnnnnng. That was 2011 on the phone. It said the next ride is starting soon. Happy New Year!
Check out this video clip on a Lesson From My Mother