Twelve months ago, we made our fearless predictions for what was then the year to come.
We even got a few things right: We foresaw that the year would end with Meng Wanzhou still in Canada, and the two Michaels still imprisoned in China. We expected that U.S. President Donald Trump would be both tried and acquitted by the U.S. Senate, and that’s how it went. (Remember when that was news? Neither do we.) We said the year was likely to end with the Canadian dollar higher and oil prices lower, and that’s the tale of the tape. We said that the Raptors wouldn’t repeat as NBA champions, and we predicted a Canadian team wouldn’t win the Stanley Cup.
And then there are the things we didn’t get right. We bet there was only a one-third chance of a recession, that the Bank of Canada would likely leave interest rates unchanged through 2020 and that Canada’s unemployment rate, which was then 5.9 per cent, would likely end the year lower. And we said that odds were Canadian athletes would win at least 23 medals at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
The number of Olympic medals won last summer was of, course zero, because last summer’s Olympics never happened. What happened instead was a pandemic.
So what does 2021 have in store? The Globe and Mail editorial board’s crack team of odds-makers is once again brave and foolhardy enough to make book on the likelihood of various things happening, or not. Place your bets.
Odds of a federal election: 55 per cent
Probability of ending the year with a minority government: 77 per cent
Odds of the Democrats winning both Georgia Senate run-offs, resulting in a 50-50 split of the Senate: 37 per cent
Odds of President Trump pardoning himself: 37 per cent
Odds that he refuses to vacate the White House on Jan. 20: 4 per cent
Odds of president-elect Joe Biden being sworn in on Jan 20: 100 per cent
Probability that, one year from now, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig will still be behind bars in China: 50 per cent
Odds that Meng Wanzhou will still be in Canada: 50 per cent
Odds the Canadian unemployment rate, which was 8.5 per cent in November, will be lower by the end of 2021: 99 per cent
Odds that unemployment will end the year below 7 per cent: 67 per cent
In November, Canada had about 600,000 fewer jobs than in February. Odds that the number of people working at the end of 2021 will exceed pre-pandemic levels: 71 per cent
Odds the Bank of Canada will raise interest rates: 0 per cent
Odds of the U.S. Federal Reserve raising rates: 0 per cent
Odds that the 10-year Government of Canada bond yield, currently around 0.7 per cent, will end 2021 above 1 per cent: 61 per cent
Probability of the S&P/TSX Composite Index finishing the year higher: 44 per cent
Odds that, a year from now, West Texas Intermediate crude will be above US$60 a barrel: 32 per cent
Odds the Keystone XL project will be blocked by Joe Biden: 88 per cent
Odds of Ottawa selling Trans Mountain in 2020: 39 per cent
Probability that at least three million Canadians will have been vaccinated by April 1: 63 per cent
Probability that every Canadian who wants to receive the vaccine will get it by year’s end: 94 per cent
Probability that the number of deaths will be lower in the second quarter of 2021 than in the first quarter: 85 per cent
Odds of a Canadian team in the World Series: 3 per cent
Odds of a Canadian NBA champion: 16 per cent
Odds of a Canadian Stanley Cup winner: 27 per cent
Odds of the 2020 Summer Olympics, now rescheduled to 2021, going ahead: 45 per cent.
Keep your Opinions sharp and informed. Get the Opinion newsletter. Sign up today.