A global pandemic was not on FT forecasters’ radar screen — or anyone else’s — one year ago. But it proved, tragically, the defining event of 2020, and will dominate 2021. By pushing the US into recession and sending carbon dioxide emissions tumbling, it confounded two of our more confident forecasts — and only 18% of readers in our online contest predicted these correctly.

UK-EU trade negotiations left everyone guessing to the last, but the late agreement reduced our blushes, meaning we got only five answers wrong — still worse than four the year before. Angela Merkel’s grand coalition did not collapse, Matteo Salvini didn’t return to power in Italy, and Britain’s Labour party beat our expectations in making itself electable. ..

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