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article imageEconomy 2016: Five things to be prepared for

By David Goehst     Jan 4, 2016 in Business
With elections, referendum votes, potential recessions in several power countries and the rebirth of Central America's stagnant economy, 2016 could be economically challenging for some, beneficial for others.
Analysts, writers, naysayers and even Donald Trump all share one very distinct characteristic — a penchant for predicting various forthcoming events. Business, of course, is one frequented area of digitality that Forbes covers daily, Bloomberg raves over hourly and spectators dream over. Lest we forget, my friends, that several key (but not widely covered) events could impact the global economy this year.
Businessmen who wish to subjugate an area of business will not only need their ‘forward thinking’ caps on, they’ll need more creativity than years past. As Q1 takes shape in 2016, here’s what businessmen offline and digitally based should be prepared for as the global economy begins taking shape.
Panama Canal locks spark job growth
The largest initial economic impact will arrive in April when a third set of locks begin accepting traffic through the Panama Canal. With Houston preparing for heavy traffic and investors’ mouths watering, job growth in and around Panama is making the Central America nation an attractive investment opportunity. In fact, Bloomberg predicts Panamanian GDP will increase by 6% in 2016, the largest upswing worldwide.
With an elevation in trade through the Panama Canal, the U.S. Dollar will strengthen but imports will more than likely see an incremental increase.
U.K. votes on secession – investors halt?
A significant portion of 2016 in Parliament will be spent on weighing whether EU membership is worth a 90 percent tax on exports, or if leaving would broaden trade horizons. Watching the events from afar are President Obama and Chinese president Xi Jinping, who both "highly suggest" the United Kingdom remain the EU’s centerpiece for reasons tied to global trade influence.
The days leading up to the referendum vote will be filled with investor speculation, throttling the London and U.S. stock markets until the final votes are tallied. (note: PM Cameron is giving a voting timeline as late as 2017, although a vote could come during this summer)
Cheap oil boosts import trade
Although major exporters like Russia and OPEC will see drastic harm to their bottom line, importers will enjoy tremendous import trade growth in 2016 should oil continue its low trading price. India, expected to grow as much as 7 percent thanks to lagging oil prices, is one country expected to add jobs and open more trade doors in 2016.
The world’s more dominant banks will miss inflation targets due to an unstable oil market, and Vladimir Putin will have some tough choices to make in order to avoid sending Russia into it's longest recession in two decades.
The business of digital advertising will begin its decline
Early indicators suggested digital advertising revenues would increase from $135B in 2014 to US$239B by 2019; however, with digital marketing intelligence and individual entrepreneurial efforts expected to change the fabric of how searches are conducted moving forward, a seismic shift in where money is invested will occur. This shift will mean numerous companies will fold, costing other areas of digital commerce to slip. This means both paid and organic search tactics will get a massive overhaul to reflect less of what Google wants, and more of what consumers expect.
Social media will begin condensing its numerous platforms into several more manageable solutions. Twitter and Facebook will lead the charge, which will more than likely include the buyout of several well-known social platforms.
More jobs heading home, and abroad
Telecommuting jobs have slowly been rising in popularity since the late-1990's. With freelance platforms beginning to offer expanded services like construction, cleaning and other services normally handled by small local companies, the force majeure in global employment will reside where workers physically live. This will cause older ma and pa companies to either expand, close their doors or get creative — quickly.
It's not unrealistic to expect that the burgeoning number of freelance platforms will soon be reduced to several major corporations.
More about UK referendum, Panama canal, Vladimir putin, us presidential race, India
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