Inflation forecasts scored, plus how your booster forecast compares

published14 days ago
2 min read

This issue: Booster predictions compared, plus scoring last week's CPI forecasts.​

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So much for peak inflation...

Last week, in the first ever Nonrival email, we asked whether August numbers would show that inflation had peaked. They didn't. The CPI rose 0.1% month over month, while the core CPI (which excludes prices for energy and food) was up 0.6%. Brookings has five key takeaways from the report. And we can now score our first-ever forecast.

We asked what the likelihood was that the CPI would rise in August, month over month. The average forecast among readers was 34%, meaning the group on average thought there was only about a one-in-three chance of a month-over-month rise. Since the CPI did rise, higher forecasts score better.

You said there was a [090422_FINAL GOES HERE]% chance of that happening. That means your forecast was closer to the actual outcome than [090422_BRIER_RANK GOES HERE]% of readers.

Will Americans get boosted?

This week, Nonrival asked whether Americans would get the new bivalent boosters. Specifically, we asked: How likely is it that the US administers more than 20 million doses of Covid vaccine in September?

You said there was a [091222_FINAL GOES HERE]% chance of that happening.

What other readers said

You predicted that the average of readers' forecast would be [091222_CROWD GOES HERE]%. The actual average was 24%. That means you were closer than [091222_CROWD_RANK GOES HERE]% of readers.

Perspectives on boosters

Here are some readers' justifications for their booster forecasts...

The case that the US could reach 20 million does in September...

If over 40% of people in the US end up getting a flu shot during peak flu season, it seems likely that the draw of a covid booster before winter is strong enough to imagine almost 10% adoption per fall month - especially if companies and insurance push it. (65%)
A new vaccine available to all ages at once means greater numbers than usual will jump in. (60%)

And the case that it's unlikely...

Last year the booster rollout roughly doubled doses. If things doubled now that’d be 10M. I could see this going as high as 15M, but with urgency low, lots of people feeling protected by Omicron infections, and less public push, 20M in the first month seems unlikely. (22%)
Based on the past few months' of data, the uptake of the boosters, the low level of covid news, it strikes me as highly unlikely that we'll see high degrees of vaccination this month. (5%)
20m would require a ~4x-ing from August numbers. I don't think there is anywhere near the underlying demand for that to happen. Throw the relative lack of safety data on top and I think you have a recipe for modest increase from August (2%)

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