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The Business Forum Journal


My View of 2015

By Thomas R. Northup



After six years we may finally be seeing substantial improvement in the economy. The 1st quarter of 2015 will confirm the strength of recent trends. Good news, however there are many issues that could make 2015 a very interesting and potentially volatile year.

Here are thoughts that may greatly affect 2015 outcomes.

On a macro basis the economy is advancing. Looking at the details the recovery is not wide spread focused on certain industries chief among then oil, banking and some manufacturing. Many industries have not seen growth matching past recoveries.

Employment growth is also experiencing similar unevenness. Government puts a veneer on progress using current unemployment calculations. It is important to understand the composition. Employment among minorities, lower income and younger citizens has not returned to pre-2008 levels. Yes job growth is increasing, but a substantial portion of new jobs created have been in low wage industries as hospitality and fast food.

The republicans now control congress. They have no excuses for not doing their part in reducing gridlock. They have 2015 and into early 2016 before the next presidential election season starts - not much time to make their case for leadership. I see a divided party without a strong national leader. Watching them determine priorities and trying to achieve party consensus and reach across the aisle will be interesting.

Another domestic consideration is the changing Federal Reserve policies. They are reducing QE and beginning to talk about letting interest rates return to more normal levels. How this will play out in the economy is difficult to estimate. Their definitely will be winners and losers.

Internationally there are two key developments that have the potential of significantly shaping world economies. The oil boom and resulting supply glut is not short term but a �new normal.� Second Japan has initiated a currency war. Both of these trends could have major worldwide economic effect and will continue through 2015 and longer.

The conditions I have outlined will make for a fascinating 2015 economically and politically both domestically and internationally. The economic situation is fragile. There appears to be more than the usual amount of uncertainty. That is the basis of my 2015 prediction � uncertainty.

On a personal note it is prudent to realize the world is in an uncertain state. In recent years financial advisors have recommended international investments as a means of maintaining returns. Now there is great potential for major corrections in economies and industries. 2015 is a year to be especially vigilant regarding your investment portfolio.  

On a personal note:

If this article has made you think about building more effective results, I would be happy to meet with you to discuss the state of your business.  Before we start I will ask you to complete three assessments that evaluate your company strategically, in leadership and personal productivity. This is your commitment to a focused high quality interchange.   

There is no obligation. We will meet as long as necessary to have an in depth review. My objective is to first build a relationship. If we agree to continue working together, great, if not then my hope is that our discussion will still lead you to constructive change.

 Tom Northup

949-689-4085 Pacific Time
[email protected]

Thomas R. Northup is a Fellow of The Business Forum Institute and a coach, speaker and author with over 30 years running companies the last 3 as CEO. He now assists managers and executives produce the stretch results they are having trouble reaching. Tom�s work can be explored in his leadership blog, his book, The Five Hidden Mistakes CEOs Make, and his coming book, Leadership Is Not a Soft Skill. Using his unique experience, Tom gives expert insight and simple to use methods you can use to build a focused, outstanding organization to meet your vision, create sustainable growth and to develop �unfair competitive advantage.� Tom graduated with a BS in Mathematics from Bucknell University and has an MBA from Syracuse University.

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