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Will inflation cool off in 2023 in the US? Will Russia detonate a nuclear device in the coming weeks? Who will win the next general election in the UK? These were some of the most read reports on our subscription-only FutureFirst™ monitor in the past 30 days. We highlight these questions with a limited version of the reports below. Many more great forecasts, including those on lockdowns in China, the risk of a lethal confrontation between Russia and NATO forces, and the probability of a recession in the eurozone, are available through our paid subscription FutureFirst.
Our Public Dashboard features a small sample of our probability forecasts. Some questions are rotated onto the Public Dashboard temporarily from FutureFirst™. For 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.
Good Judgment’s professional Superforecasters do not expect that Russia will detonate a nuclear device outside of Russian territory or airspace before 5 August 2022. The Superforecasters point out that using a nuclear weapon would provoke NATO and/or alienate China and India, which the Kremlin may not want to do. Some Superforecasters also point out, however, that while an all-out nuclear war is very unlikely, in a longer time frame, this could involve a nuclear test to signal Russia’s readiness to escalate or, if the Kremlin feels cornered in Ukraine, it could use of a tactical nuclear weapon with limited blast damage.
According to Good Judgment’s professional Superforecasters, there is a 4% probability that Vladimir Putin will cease to be the president of the Russian Federation this year. This forecast is based on such factors as health and actuarial life tables, a low probability of a successful palace coup, and an even lower probability of a mass uprising in this time frame. Nevertheless, a military defeat in Ukraine or an economic meltdown at home could undermine Putin’s pillars of power, especially in the medium term. The Superforecasters would change their forecast if they see signs of discontent in the military or the FSB (Russia’s security service) or if the war in Ukraine ends in Russia’s defeat or a stalemate in the near term.
Historically, the Conservative Party has tended to win a majority of the seats in UK general elections. In forecasting the outcome of the next UK general election, the Superforecasters look at the base rate and the current outlook for the main political parties. They see a 28% probability for a Conservative plurality and 41% probability for a Labour plurality. They also point out that public opinion polls tend to be volatile and could easily be shaped by current events closer to the election.
Good Judgment’s professional Superforecasters see an 11% probability that an OPEC member state (other than Iran or Venezuela) will publicly announce that it will begin accepting yuan as payment for oil from China this year. On the one hand, Saudi Arabia–currently the main candidate for such a move–depends on military assistance from the United States, and Washington would object to oil sales in yuan. Saudi Arabia may also be uncomfortable with China’s ties to Iran. On the other hand, the Superforecasters argue that if, for instance, China’s president Xi Jinping sets a date for his official visit to Saudi Arabia this year, this would raise the probability of a petroyuan contract between the two countries.
According to Good Judgment’s professional Superforecasters, there is a 46% probability that the percent change in the PCE Price Index in Q4 2023 relative to Q4 2022 will be more than 2.0% but less than 3.0%. The Superforecasters also see a 12% probability that the PCE deflator will come down to the 1.0-2.0% range in this period and a 42% probability (in total) that inflation will be 3.0% or higher. Government spending, Fed policy decisions, supply chain constraints, as well as potential changes in consumer spending driven by Covid-19 are some of the factors behind this forecast.
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