Revisiting Some Forecasts
[ This first appeared a week ago in my Shift Age Newsletter. ]
In the first eight months of 2011, I made some economic forecasts relative to the global economic landscape. As a futurist, that is part of what I do, as people always ask me about the future, particularly economics. It is only fair to be accountable in this regard.
Here are some of the forecasts I made, with current commentary:
In January of 2011 I said that the growth rate of the US GDP would be 2% for the year. Well I got that one right. In January of 2012 I said that I thought this number of 2% growth would be the same for 2012. That looks to be on target as of now.
In early 2011 I started saying that the “Greek Debt Crisis” should start to be called the “death rattle of the Euro” and that there was a 50 -70% chance of the Euro going away Well, the Euro is still with us, but it is now abundantly clear, as I have written here and here that even if the Euro does not collapse, or more likely the Euro zone shrinks in number of countries, that Europe will be in for a no growth period for the better part of this decade. It is currently in recession and since growth is the only way out of the massive debt overhang, it will be a long time before Europe is economically vibrant and growing.
In July 2011, during the pathetic debt ceiling debate in Washington, I said that a failure to come to a sensible solution would result in the US having its credit rating lowered and that continued partisan gridlock would create anxiety and therefore business uncertainty. Unfortunately I got that one right.
In August 2011 I said that within a year there would be a major economic hiccup in China. Based upon the less than fully reliable data coming out of China, it seems that this is now occurring. Housing prices have collapsed, exports have fallen, consumerism hasn’t replaced exports, and finally the 30 year run of economic miracles is ending as the central party apparatus is coming up against the capitalistic marketplace they helped to create. I continue to think that China is in for some rough, disruptive and unpredictable economic times for the next several years.
In August 2011 I said that we had entered a long term highly volatile bull global market in commodities and that oil would largely trade between $90-120 a barrel for the next year or two. This one seems to be accurate, though we are in a deep decline with some commodities at the moment, so the last year can be looked at as a spike or the beginning of long term volatility. The prediction on the price of oil is largely correct except for a short few weeks when the price dropped below $90