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How widely will monkeypox spread in the US? Will office vacancies remain high? Will NATO accuse Russia of chemical weapon use in Ukraine? 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 questions and forecast rationales on key elections, inflation, interest rates, and taxes, 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.
According to Good Judgment’s professional Superforecasters, there is a 3% probability that a NATO member state will accuse Russia of using a chemical or biological weapon in Ukraine before 5 August 2022. On the one hand, Russia’s history of using chemical weapons in Syria and Chechnya makes such a use plausible in the time frame of this question. On the other hand, the Superforecasters point out that there are ambiguities over what counts as a chemical weapon and the relatively short forecasting window leaves little time to verify any claims coming from Ukraine.
According to Good Judgment’s professional Superforecasters, there is a 5% 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.
Good Judgment’s Superforecasters see a 2% probability that a NATO member state will accuse the Russian government of conducting a lethal cyberattack in this period. Cyberattacks will almost certainly happen, the Superforecasters say, but it is unlikely that they will directly cause fatalities or will be linked to the Russian government. However, the Superforecasters point out, we could see cyberwarfare being conducted at a scale that we’ve never seen before and this could result in unintended fatalities.
According to Good Judgment’s professional Superforecasters, there is a 75% probability that the number of total cases of monkeypox reported in the US as of 30 September 2022 will be 100-1,000. There is also a 24% probability, in total, that this number will exceed 1,000. While public awareness and availability of vaccines should help limit the transmission, the Superforecasters also point out that variability of human behavior may increase the risk of monkeypox spreading further despite available countermeasures.
Good Judgment’s professional Superforecasters see a 50% probability that the US office vacancy rate for Q2 2023 will be higher than 13% but lower than 14%. There is also a 41% probability that this rate will be 14-15%. In addition to work-from-home trends, the Superforecasters say energy and labor costs may force some businesses to scale back on office space. Other, albeit lower-probability, factors would be a worsening in the pandemic or a boom in construction. Creative city policies, such as incentives for businesses to return to offices, on the other hand, may help offset this trend to an extent. The Superforecasters see a 6% probability in total that the vacancy rate will drop to 13% or below.
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