It's time for the predictions for 2012!
I have done fairly well with my forecasts the last few years.
In 2009 I said we would be in a recession until 2011.
Of course, the word "until" is a bit subjective. 2011 is over.
The U.S. appears it is now starting to come out of the recession,
but things in Europe are looking worse.
I predicted oil prices would be between $50-$100 a barrel. That has
proved to be pretty accurate, although I certainly gave myself a wide
So, for 2012, what lies ahead?
It's really a tough call. The U.S. no longer is the biggest driver
to the world economy. China is slowing down.
Having said this, this is my best guess.
Shipping companies will continue to struggle. Many of the Greek companies
operating bulk ships will go bust. These are the ones who have their stocks
listed in the U.S., so the investors will get burned.
As for the container companies, that's a difficult call. Everyone has
formed their alliances in an effort to reduce costs. But I don't
think they are managing to control the capacity as will be needed, to get
their rate increases to stick. So, I think these VSA's will allow most
of the carriers to survive 2012
However, I believe ZIM and CSAV might be in jeopardy.
It depends if they can get more money from somewhere. And who
knows the answer to that? There is a lot of cash sitting on the sidelines, looking for a decent investment.
I think the price of oil will be between $80 and $130 a barrel.
I predict the Euro will survive, but the U.S. dollar will once again become stronger. Everyone talks about how bad off the Euro is, but I remember when
it and the dollar were on par.
I think the middle class in China and India will continue
to grow, and living conditions there will improve. So, that at least
is some good news for 2012.
Happy New Year!