News Views

What Paul the Octopus could never predict

The German British Forum would find it hard to be neutral about the outcome of the World Cup quarter final this afternoon.

One of us has already predicted Germany for the final on the basis of trade patterns (  For a Brit, it’s a bit like supporting a League 2 team to demonstrate that you are a “real” football supporter but supporting Chelsea or Manchester City in the Premier League to make sure that you get some of the upside of liking football…. After England’s parlous performance, what Brit wouldn’t secretly be hoping that Germany will win tonight?

And who needs an octopus when trade data will do to predict scores?

Delta Economics Q2 forecast is that the UK’s trade will decline by 1.3% in 2014 so why are we surprised that the English teams in cricket and football have under performed and Andy Murray is out of Wimbledon?  By the same token, Brazil’s coffee exports are forecast to grow by 8% this year and Colombia’s by 4% so 2-1 is the obvious result for that quarter final.So what does this tell us about the game that kicks off in just one and a half hours from now.

Well, Germany’s export trade is forecast to grow by 1.2% while France’s will decline by 1.4%.  Germany’s car exports will grow by nearly 1% this year while French car exports are likely to contract this year by over 10%.  We’ve tried desperately to find an area where France might excel, but even here, German wine exports could grow by as much as 4% this year; we are forecasting that French wine exports will shrink by nearly 1%.Whichever way you look at it, things don’t look good for France this evening.

Score prediction – Germany to win 3-0 and France to have a player sent off in the first half.  This will ruin the game as a spectacle of course, but then so far this World Cup, although Germany have won, they have still not achieved Joachim Low’s goal of winning pretty as well as winning ugly.  But we are all used to that.