January 27, 2015Mixed-Economic-Forecast

  • Oil is going nowhere but down as everyone in the game produces more with the hope of squeezing the maximum return out of a dwindling price. We will see prices approach $30 / barrel this year.
  • Gold, just wait as those hoarding it start to let some go. We said last year that it would go below $1200 and we still think that’s possible.
  • Metals won’t do much better as the large users see lackluster growth for the next 12 months, don’t buy any copper.
  • This is the year that we will see the Communications business witness its very first major setback as price cuts are used to keep or attract customers.
  • Don’t expect new users in Cuba to sign up for services based on their $20 / month incomes.
  • Automobile sales, for the most part, are no longer a measure of economic health. Vehicles are like milk and bread where most everyone that has a job needs a car and some will go as far as not paying their mortgage for a month or two in order to get to work. Growth in auto sales will be modest at best supported by no interest deals and 84 month financing.
  • The best thing to happen over the past six months is the dramatic drop in fuel prices. This unexpected windfall will help keep families afloat. Don’t expect to see this new found cash going to retail. It will be used to pay for necessities.
  • Speaking of retail, the holiday numbers are not out yet but our own survey, the real “what’s happening” survey says that sales were much less than expected, returns will further dampen the numbers and that even the luxury sellers are in for a tough year. That’s scary when the 1% starts cutting back.
  • I never thought I’d see the day where you could go to jail for not having health insurance. Fortunately the IRS’s growing inability to service incoming calls and answer questions might put a long delay between a penalty for no insurance and going to jail for not paying the penalty.
  • Go food shopping and see how you get less for more. That’s a subject not being addressed in most conversations about household finances. Wanna loose weight, start eating what poor people eat; and it is not McDonalds.
  • Some things are not changing. Wages remain stagnant, service costs are excessive, college loans still exist and most everyone is paying more for healthcare, or neglecting their health. And there’s a strong likelihood that there will be boots on some ground somewhere soon.
    Be frugal, live small, be prepared.