Jim Blasingame's 2017 predictions reconciled

1. The U.S. economy will expand at 3% GDP growth. Actual: 2.75% annual GDP. The last three quarters over 3% couldn't cover 1.2% in Q1. -1

2. Eight years of record regulation growth will reverse in 2017. Actual: Trump's 2 for 1 regulatory order resulted in essentially no new regs in 2017 (CEI). +1

3. The NFIB Index will report small business optimism increasing for the first time in eight years. Actual: The Index set 44-year optimism records all year. +1

4. After eight years of deleveraging, small business profitability will increase. Actual: NFIB reports dramatic 2017 profits growth. +1

5. For the first time in eight years, small business borrowing will increase. Actual: Up, but only slightly (ICBA). +1

6. Business startup slide will reverse. Actual: Net new businesses were up, but only slightly (Kaufman). +1

7. Main Street retailers will benefit as retreating giants, like Sears and Macys, create a retail vacuum. Actual: All that, plus consumer confidence drove this shift (Wells Fargo). +1

8. Small business job creation will lag economic growth. Actual: Hiring was better, but did not track with GDP growth (NFIB). +1.

9. The growing economy will not benefit those who lack 21st-century job skills. Actual: Businesses with unfilled jobs due to lack of qualified applicants grew again in 2017 (NFIB). +1

10. Small businesses will benefit from corporate America investing more in the Main Street economy. Actual: See GDP growth for the last three quarters. +1

11. The regulatory expense and short-term expectations will cause more growing businesses to "Stay private." Actual: IPO numbers haven't rebounded since 2014 (SEC). +1

12. Inflation will rise due to a growing economy - not Fed policy. Actual: Inflation is up, but not enough to suit the Fed (Federal Reserve). +1

13. The Fed will raise interest rates at least twice in 2017. Actual: Three increases - this one was easy. Remember I was right in '14, '15 and '16 when it wasn't so easy. +1

14. Dow Jones will end year closer to 20,000 than 21,000. Actual: Can you say, "Bubble"? Can you say "Mania"? Can you say, "Don't take investment advice from Blasingame"? -1

15. U.S. oil production will keep crude averaging below $60bbl. Actual: Averaged $55.04bbl. +1

16. Although elected as a Republican, Trump is no party ideologue, and will prove equally frustrating for Republicans and Democrats. Actual: Remember, this was written before he took office. +1

17. In getting rid of Obamacare, Trump will be frustrated by Democrats and Republicans. Actual: Again, written before he took office. +1

18. Obamacare repeal and replace will take longer than conservatives wish, possibly years. Actual: Wish I'd missed this one. Alas... +1

19. Obamacare replacement will include market-based solutions (re: Enzi Bill, 2006), plus tax credits and no mandates. Actual: The Enzi approach is almost exactly the model being used. +1

20. Obamacare elements of guaranteed insurability and extended dependent coverage will be part of the replacement program. Actual: Both of these are in the proposals. +1

21. The smoothest issue Trump will have with Congressional GOP will be on tax reform. Actual: They failed with healthcare, but will get tax reform. +1

22. Democrats will play their perennial minimum-wage-increase card and Trump will trade it for something he wants. Actual: Didn't come up this year. -1

23. President Trump will nominate two Supreme Court Justices in 2017. Actual: Only Gorsuch. -1

24. Trump will manage Putin/Russia, but be greatly challenged by China. Actual: Putin continues to run amuck. -1

25. The most serious global economic threat will come from issues associated with China's government-controlled financial/banking system. Actual: This was a year early - standby. -1

26. Trump will regard cyber-attacks as de facto acts of war. Actual: Cyber-security is in the National Defense Authorization. +1

27. By the end of 2017, very little, if any of the Mexican border "Wall" will have begun. Actual: Mostly prototypes, so far. +1

28. Sanctuary cities will challenge President Trump. Actual: Cities defeat Trump in court - for now. +1

29. The Trump administration will only deport undocumented criminals and stop refugee inflow. Actual: Trump deportation lags Obama in both areas (Politico). +1

30. Criticism of U.S. financial support of the U.N. will grow. Actual: Hope springs eternal, if not accurately. -1.

31. Italy will challenge the Euro Zone with its own threatened exit. Actual: Italy's rising populist, Northern League party threatened Brussels with its own Brexit (Politico). +1

32. In defense of his legacy, President Obama will not adopt the below-radar precedent of past presidents. Actual: Alas, another easy one. +1

33. Within two years, Barack Obama, and/or Hillary Clinton, will be proposed for a high-ranking U.N. position. Actual: Just give it time. Push, so far.

34. Senator Joe Manchin (D) from West Virginia, will become an (R). Actual: My greatest surprise of the year. -1

35. The Alabama defense will deliver the NCAA Division 1 title for The Tide, defeating Clemson in consecutive Championship Games. Actual: My second greatest surprise of the year. -1

Write this on a rock ... My 2017 accuracy was 73.5% (25 of 34, one push), leaving my 18-year record unchanged at 73%. How'd you do? Look for my 2018 predictions in three weeks.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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Jim Blasingame

Jim Blasingame is one of the world’s leading experts on small business and entrepreneurship. He’s the creator and award-winning host of the syndicated radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, syndicated columnist and author of Small Business Is Like a Bunch of Bananas and Three Minutes to Success. His third book, The Age of the Customer®, released in January 2014. Jim has received awards and recognition for his work and leadership on behalf of small businesses from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC), American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), New York Enterprise Report, FORTUNE Small Business and TALKERS magazine. Google ranks Jim as the #1 small business expert.

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