Dear John

Chief Economist, John Norris, answers the most commonly asked questions.

Dear John,

What is your biggest prediction for 2019?

John NorrisMy biggest prediction? I tend to compartmentalize things. For instance, I don’t have one favorite movie. Instead, I have a favorite comedy, a favorite drama, a favorite war flick, and so on. The same is true for restaurants; my favorite place for pizza, burgers, etc. For this reason, I don’t have just one big prediction. So, let me give you a few of them.

Economics prediction: The Federal Reserve will stop just short of throttling the US economy, but we will still post slower GDP numbers than 2018. In fact, 2019 could be the year of the non-recessionary recession. The darker clouds will form in Europe, and we will likely be talking about eurozone financial woes by the end of the year.

Market prediction: After a good January, volatility will return to the market in February and last through the middle of the year. This likely will NOT be anywhere near as bad as 2018. The markets will eventually dust themselves off for a modestly positive 2019.

Sports prediction: The usual suspects will battle it out for supremacy in whatever sport you chose, just as they do every year. The teams with the largest payrolls will end up on top, especially the college ones.

Entertainment prediction: Finding my personal tastes somewhere in between the comic book adaptations and arthouse films so prevalent these days, I won’t darken a movie theater’s doorstep and won’t care who wins the awards. This is the second easiest.

Science prediction: There are so many from which to choose. However, my personal favorite is NASA will finally launch the James Webb Space Telescope, and it will be just about the coolest thing ever. I can’t wait.

Saddest prediction: I have a bet with a co-worker on who will lose the most weight before the end of the year. The minimum is 20 lbs. before the loser has to pay up.  No one will collect on this.

Happiest prediction: I probably won’t care about the saddest prediction very much.

Final prediction: 2019 is going to be a very trying year at times; however, it won’t feel as hopeless as 2018 did. By the end of it, we will all breath a sigh of relief that things weren’t as bad as we feared they would be. However, it might feel as though we went through a prize fight to get to the end.

There you have it. My biggest predictions for 2019.