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DC Economists' Predictions Prove Prophetic

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If we could just cram CBRE's James Bohnaker, Delta Associates founder Greg Leisch, Greater Washington Board of Trade's James Dinegar, George Mason University's Stephen Fuller, and Goodwill of Greater Washington's Catherine Meloy (pictured) into one big crystal ball, maybe we could predict the future...and buy a winning lotto ticket. In 2013, Capital Business asked local economy watchers and business leaders to predict the region's 2014 economy, and these economists were remarkably accurate, the Washington Post reports. Sure they largely chalk it up to luck, but we can't help but be impressed with the results. Here's a look:

Year-end Unemployment Rates for Maryland, Virginia and DC

Winner: James Bohnaker (with Moody's Analytics at the time)

Prediction: 50,000 jobs

Actual number: 46,300 jobs

Runner-up: Delta Associates' Gregory Leisch who predicted 42,000 jobs

Bohnaker's remarks: The region's tourism and hospitality sectors added jobs during the downturn, giving the area a much-needed boost.

Unemployment Levels in Virginia

Winner: James Dinegar

Prediction: 4.9%

Actual number: dead on (and only hundredths of a point total off with the other jurisdictions)

Runner-up: Stephen Fuller, who was a total of 1.1 points over in all three jurisdictions

Dinegar's remarks: Moving forward employers are going to experience a rare challenge recruiting and retaining candidates because job hunters will have more options.

Home Price Estimates

Winner: Catherine Meloy

Estimate: $410k

Actual number: $408k

Runner-up: Bohnaker, who guessed $405k

Meloy remarks: There's so much demand that people are selling their houses in days, which is making the price go up. [WaPo]