Of a new year...
... and new normals
By Philippe A. Forget
“An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday did not happen today” — Laurence J. PETER
Last year, at about this same time, the world seemed transfixed with problems and was eyeing a very real possibility of recession over 2023. The IMF, the OECD and others were not in too positive a mood as Mr. Putin’s war in Ukraine was promising a difficult ( and costly ) winter in Europe , as well as dampened grain exports, since the Black Sea was no longer an open - passage waterway , curtesy of the Russian navy, hell bent on choking off Ukrainians shipping their exports . China was still in the throes of its zero covid policies, which included very severe lockdown protocols. Besides which, its over - primed property market was showing few signs of calming down, as building works looked to be further and further ahead of sales and payments, indicating a market collapse in the making. Europe and especially its powerhouse , Germany , looked like they were losing their zest and the US of A was squarely facing the headwinds of interest hikes, which likely promised to rope in both spending and growth at some point.