January 2, 2020

The Roaring Twenties

The Roaring Twenties

This marks the 13th consecutive year for CBIZ CMF having some fun by publishing our forward-looking predictions on economic matters, socio-political issues, and industry trends, and by grading ourselves on the prior year’s attempt. As we enter a new decade and reflect on the last 10 years, we thought it would be interesting to take a look back at our 2010 predictions. A few highlights include:

  • In 2009, we predicted US unemployment would be an average of 9.0%. In 2010, the average was 9.7%, and our 2019 average as of November 2019 is an astonishing 3.7%. 
  • In 2009, we predicted there would be a record number of international visitors to the US. In 2010, there was a 5% increase in Q1 and a 3% increase in Q2. As 2019 comes to a close, there continues to be uncertainty, trade tensions, and risk. Early 2019 numbers indicate a drop in the number of international visitors coming to the US.
  • In 2009, we predicated private equity / M&A deal volume would increase 30% - 40% in 2010. There was an 80.5% increase in deal volume year over year in 2010. As of Q3 2019, deal volume at 2,687 is on track to more than double the deal volume in 2010. 

The year 2020 opens a new decade, and the opportunity for a second “Roaring Twenties.” However, with an upcoming election and continued trade and economic tensions, predictions for 2020 were challenging. See the complete list of 2020 predictions here and below for some highlights: 

  • US unemployment relatively stable at 3.6%
  • US GDP Growth decreases to 2.2%
  • Boeing’s 737 Max airplane gets relaunched in the second half of 2020 under a different name
  • Republicans take back the House
  • Average EBITDA purchase multiple remains greater than 12x per PitchBook

Check out how the 2019 actuals compared to the 2019 predictions (made in November 2018) here. Highlights from last year’s predictions that we accurately forecasted include:

  • Tiger Woods wins a major (won the 2019 Masters)
  • Housing prices in San Francisco / Bay Area down at least 15%
  • USD/CNY Exchange Rate at ¥6.90

Good luck navigating the new decade, and best wishes for the New Year!


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