Comparisons are odious, but 2019 opens while the stars of the third industrial revolution are still shining in an age of more or less autonomous electric vehicles and artificial intelligence. Will the ‘Roaring Twenties’ repeat themselves as the stock markets falter and the threat of recession, or at least the economic downturn, begins? And then, in the corner, there is this American posture of marked withdrawal and especially the misunderstanding of the global geopolitical issues seen through a prism that will shrink even more over the months, the closer we get to the elections of 2020 and the possible second term of Donald Trump: recent decisions to withdraw American forces from Syria are an additional demonstration. But in 2019, there will be many other due dates with China, Iran and Europe (itself ‘post-Brexit’).
Presented at the end of January, CyclOpe’s forecasts are relatively pessimistic after the ‘bell-shaped profile’ of 2018. Most markets remain circumspect and even if we cannot share the most widespread macroeconomic forecasts concerning the United States and especially China, we see little reason to anticipate a rebound in markets, strongly stuck as they are for the most part at low levels like oil, sugar and nickel. Of note are ever more bearish prospects for liquefied natural gas and soy which remains—by far—the most ‘political’ of all amenities.
But of course, our forecasts are made under geopolitical and climatic conditions that are somewhat ‘stable’. This leaves a (welcome) margin for the happenstance that promises to make this year quite exciting.