It looked like it would be stable, modest growth in most parts of the globe, but the undercurrents affecting the whole economic system at the moment will prove which way it turns.
I am assuming that the Federal Reserve will continue its tap in force; the Debt Ceiling was agreed to take the government funding to at least March this year. Hopefully the Democrats and Republicans in the national interest will sign in another extension, as would be prudent and necessary, to take the funding across to November this year, or better still, to January 2017, when the new President (whoever that turns out to be) will formally assume residence in the White House.
The forthcoming January meeting of the FOMC will be crucial, when questions can be answered by Dr Yellen on the national funding. I assume as a matter of common sense that the funding will be in place till March this year at least, and the decision on its continuation may become the ball to kick around.
The Republicans will win favour or lose support depending on how they vote. If the Tea Party flavours it a shade too much, it will make the government's job very difficult; by the same token, however, they will be stabbing themselves in the foot, and may even reduce the chances of the Republican candidate winning his way to the White House. Simply, the funding would be so adversely affected that there would need to be shut-down of some departments, and of course adversely affecting the economy. But both sides have everything to play for, so let us see how they vote for the national interest.
The current fall in the Oil price to about $30 bodes not well for the OPEC nations, nor for Russia, nor Norway. Their reserves are getting depleted, and their currencies losing in the exchange. These are all sizeable economies, having global impact. Saudi Arabia is said to have reserves of nearly $650 billion, so they may be able to ride out the storm, as might Russia, whose reserves are pretty healthy but reduced in the exchange of the Rouble. Iran is trying to re-establish their foothold in this market, and their sagacious opinion on the price of Oil could be beneficial to all if upheld. An atmosphere of peaceful co-operation and trade will be most beneficial for all, that is suggested by benign common-sense.
It seems not a happy picture in Germany, with anti-migrant protests are turning quite ugly. But frankly, no nation can possibly accommodate the huge number of immigrants from Syria; the housing nor the money is there to feed them, nor the huge resources in medicine and schooling, or job creation, that would be necessary. Naturally, all people are hoping for a peaceful resolution to the conflicts in Syria, the mad war that has made their own people homeless....first the Yazidis, then the Shia'as, now even the Sunnis. The noble responsibility of keeping his people together and happy at home must be a priority for President Assad, and I pray he will seek some sensible, practical solutions to the crisis, perhaps even begging co-operation of all sides to halt the conflict and then perhaps start to once again rebuild his nation; the huge number of people who have died in this conflict must weigh on anybody's conscience, and the untold suffering the Syrian people have suffered. And all for what? It is sad to realize that the Syrian people who were once happy in their country, eating, drinking, living life as normal, happy in their homes, are today reduced to seeking shelter in Europe. May God, our Heavenly Father, who the Arabs call Allah, inspire the leaders who gather at the talks scheduled for 25th January, form some plans for the halting of the conflicts and rehabilitation of all the people who seem so lost.
Resumption of stable, modest growth may be possible in the Euro Area under the aegis of the Stimulus now swimming in the system. It augers well, and entrepreneurs and corporations who are able to avail themselves of the facilities can show renewed vigour in their upgrade, future production and profitability.
The Central Banks and their committees have some weighty decisions to make. It is my belief that India would fare better if the benchmark interest rate is stripped down to 6 percent (yes, the great Benjamin Franklin had some inspired logic on arriving at this figure); a similar suggestion would do for South Africa as well.
It may be stable, modest growth after all, but everybody will have to work hard and work for peace.
For all this I pray. In the name of Jesus, our Saviour and Redeemer. Amen.
(c) Copyright, but may be freely shared and distributed.