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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Predictions For 2015

2014 turned out to be a bit of a tumultuous year to say the least. There was quite a lot that happened, the most recent big deal being the race riots in Ferguson and New York. We finally saw some major relief in gas prices, giving Americans a little bit of extra spending cash—especially during the holidays. Jobs growth also picked up a bit towards the end with the unemployment rate finally dropping below 6% (the U-6 rate notwithstanding of course).

So what will see in 2015? Here are a few of my predictions for what to expect. These are of course opinions, but I have done a bit of homework to come up with these. Will they all come true? Of course not. These are predictions, and if I could actually predict anything with any accuracy assured I would be predicting the winning combination of lottery numbers.

But of course.

So onward and upward, and without further ado, here is what I think will be happening in the coming year. Some good, some bad, some downright ugly.

  • Unemployment numbers will remain in the 5%-6% range for the better part of the year, but 2015 will see record jobs growth numbers. I actually put the unemployment number at the close of 2015 around 5.2%.
  • Gas prices will remain lower up to around mid-summer when there will be a bit of a surge in demand. I see 2015 oil prices remaining stressed, and will likely hover around $75-$80 per barrel.
  • With republicans back in power I believe that the Keystone Pipeline deal may be back on the table, but even if anything makes it to President Obama's desk, he will veto it. The Keystone Pipeline, however, will become a big part of the next presidential campaign, and actually believe that both the republican and democratic candidates will be in favor of approving it.
  • U.S. auto sales will post record numbers. Ford Motor Company and Toyota will lead the pack.
  • GDP growth will rise by 3.2%.
  • Russia's economy will fall into a depression, and Japan's economy will remain in a recession. However, Japan will pull into a recovery towards the end of 2015. China will grow, as will most of the rest of the developed world economically.
  • Iran will develop a nuclear weapon. However, I think there will be enough force to prevent them from actually using it.
  • The GOP will see a young newcomer emerge who will have a strong chance at the nomination who restores conservative values of the republican party.
  • Housing prices and inventories of existing homes will remain stagnant. But new starts will see a rise with more builders looking to build "affordable" housing.
  • The Fed will end quantitative easing.
  • The DOW will continue to see record growth and will close 2015 around 21,000 points. I predict a correction in 2016 however, but not a significant one.
  • Discount retailers will see declines in sales while higher end chains will see increases. I also see entertainment and restaurant stocks increasing significantly in value in 2015. State casinos will see their biggest drop in revenue in ten years by the end of 2015 as consumers shift their spending. Las Vegas, however will have a record year as will Atlantic City.
  • Cuba's economy will see record growth, and Cuba will begin to develop a tourism industry in 2015 with the help of American investors. Although full tourism in Cuba won't be realized until 2016-2017. Incidentally I think Cuba may also experience a regime change.
  • President Obama will by executive order increase the Federal Minimum Wage to $10.
  • Actor and comedian Bill Cosby will be indicted on rape charges and will shock the nation by going to jail. It will be the trial of the century, and perhaps the biggest news story of 2015.
  • Bill O'Reilly will remain the #1 cable TV news show on television, but will announce his retirement towards the end of 2015.
So there you have it. These are my predictions. I think it will be interesting to take another look at all of these at the end of 2015 and see which ones came true, if any of them. Some of them I obviously do not want to happen, but sometimes it is not what you want to happen, but what is likely to happen that matters. Onward and upward, and I shall see you all on the other side.

Happy New Year to all of my faithful readers.

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