2013 Forecast: Stocks, Housing, and Oil Prices

Yesterday, we revealed the 2012 results of our annual battle of economic predictions: Wall Street vs. Main Street.

This time around, the experts won. But if you read that story, you know we’ve been making this comparison for almost a decade – and just as often, anyone walking down the street is as likely to accurately predict the future as any Wall Street pro. We believe your guess is as good as anybody’s, and we’re going to keep piling on the proof to back that up.

In the video below, Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson gathers this year’s crop of predictions for stock, oil, and housing prices from pros and average Joes. Make your own guesses and check it out.

With the fiscal cliff behind us (and to be fair, these predictions predate Congress’ last-minute solution) and probably several budget battles ahead, it’ll be interesting to see who turns out right. For the record, here’s a recap of what Wall Street and Main Street think will happen over the next 12 months…

Stocks

Economics professor and Museum of American Finance chairman Richard Sylla says stocks will be “up about 10 percent for the year” and the indexes will hit all-time highs. The common man is less optimistic: The guy we stopped on the sidewalk said up 5 percent.

Oil

The experts at the Energy Information Administration predict a dip in oil prices this year, down to an average of $88/barrel. The man on the street isn’t in the same ballpark, predicting oil will end 2013 at $120/barrel.

Housing

What do you get when you combine the prediction of more than a hundred economists, strategists, and real estate pros? A Zillow forecast that says home prices will be up 2.5 percent this year. Main Street thinks that’s pretty close, offering a prediction of an increase of 3 percent.

Take your pick

Of course, there are plenty more guesses out there to choose from. Forbes has “bond guru” Jeff Gundlach saying stocks will be up 5 percent (in line with our Main Street prediction!) while Morgan Stanley predicts a jump of less than 2 percent. USA Today rounds up several other firms’ predictions, ranging from down 1 percent (Wells Fargo) to up 14 percent (Citigroup).

Meanwhile, a CNBC real estate reporter thinks home prices will be up “anywhere from 5 to 7 percent.”

You’ll find financial predictions nearly anywhere you care to look, and with the ranges covered, somebody’s bound to be on the money – pun intended – while many others will be spectacularly wrong.

So what do you think? Share your guesses on our Facebook page, or if you’re sheepish, write them down and keep them to yourself. Either way, check back with us this time next year. If nothing else, it should be good for a laugh.

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