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As fears of lasting inflation persist in the US, will the Federal Reserve change its monetary policy? Is the United States due for a recession? How many people will be affected by the Delta and other strains of COVID-19 in the near term and can the world vaccinate fast enough to stop the spread? (The latter forecast is also featured on The Financial Times’ COVID-19 vaccine tracker.)
Good Judgment’s Public Dashboard features a small sample of our probability forecasts. Some questions are rotated onto the Public Dashboard temporarily from FutureFirst™. For unlimited subscription access to FutureFirst, please contact our sales department. Media and government organizations can request partial access here. Probability values are updated daily at 7am EST.
The Federal Reserve’s monthly purchases of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities, resumed early in the pandemic, are expected to taper down eventually. According to Good Judgment’s Superforecasters, the announcement is likely to come “sooner rather than later,” with a statement around the 21-22 September, 2-3 November, or 14-15 December 2021 FOMC meeting the most likely outcome (currently 98% probability in total).
According to Good Judgment’s Superforecasters, “zero quarters of negative real GDP growth” is the most likely scenario (currently 97% probability) given historical trends, current recovery, and pent-up demand. The Superforecasters reserve a 2% probability for short-term factors, such as a new spike in COVID-19, that could trigger “at least one quarter of negative real GDP growth.”
More than 3.8 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide so far. Good Judgment’s Superforecasters are looking at the questions of production, logistics, and expected demand—trends that determine the pace of vaccinations—to forecast that 5 billion doses will be administered worldwide before the end of this year, with September-October as the most likely outcome (currently 72% probability).
This question was developed in collaboration with The Financial Times for the FT COVID-19 vaccine tracker.
Good Judgment’s Superforecasters point out that more than 48% of the US population are now fully vaccinated, but due to a declining pace in inoculations, the race against new variants continues. Another major determinant of the size of a new wave, if any, is vaccine efficacy against existing and yet-to-emerge mutations. The Superforecasters are looking at the sharply rising cases in the UK due to the Delta variant, the issues of testing and reporting, and vaccine hesitancy, and see a 70% probability that the highest seven-day median of daily new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US between 21 April 2021 and 30 September 2021 will be 90,000 or more.
If 80% of the population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, according to some studies, when will the US reach this threshold? Good Judgment’s professional Superforecasters as a group see a 99% probability this will not happen before spring 2022. Vaccine supply and logistics are no longer the stumbling block. What the US may lack, the Superforecasters say, is the motivation among some population groups to get vaccinated. The Superforecasters point out, however, that new spikes in infections, requirement of vaccination for college, sporting events, etc., or a creative incentive policy from the federal or local governments could cause their forecast to change.
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