October 16, 2015 Reading Time: < 1 minute

The American Institute for Economic Research has a long history of accurate forecasting on economic matters, such as predicting recessions. Our senior research fellow, Polina Vlaskeno, was once again right on the money when it came to predicting the size of next year’s Social Security cost-of-living adjustment.

She had predicted that due to lower fuel prices, which had fallen more than 20 percent in the 12 months ending in August, there would no increase for Social Security recipients in 2016. (Or, put another way, Zero COLA, not to be confused with a certain soft drink.)

The Social Security Administration determines the COLA based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. During this 12-month period, the index fell 0.3 percent. Because the law prohibits negative adjustments, there was no adjustment in either direction.

When the announcement came on Thursday, it was just as she predicted.

This has been the seventh year that AIER has published a COLA forecast, and this is the seventh year that forecast has been correct. Vlaskeno’s prediction was once again picked up by The Associated Press, and used by news outlets around the nation, including large newspapers like the Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe, and smaller outlets like the Alaska Journal of Commerce.

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Aaron Nathans

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