With the New Year just about upon us it’s the time to do a piece of crystal ball gazing into 2013. Here is what I have seen in my crystal ball, but the only certainty is uncertainty!
- As I write this the Americans are still trying to negotiate a budget deal (the so called Fiscal Cliff) between the Democrats and Republicans. Nobody can afford for a deal not to be done but with the gap so large between the two sides it will be a compromise which means that nobody is really happy with it. As long as a deal is done optimism on both sides of the Atlantic will increase with large Companies releasing some of their cash holdings for investment which will give a boost to the economies. If a deal is not done then who knows what is ahead with America almost certainly going into recession.
- The first half of 2013 will continue to be tough trading conditions, especially for retailers, but the second half of 2013 will start to see the investment filtering through the economy and conditions will ease.
- Borrowing from the High Street banks will continue to be difficult in 2013. They will have money to lend but Companies will find it difficult to meet their criteria. Companies will turn more to alternative sources of finance and there will be a rise of various web-based lending platforms which will bring lenders and borrowers together.
- 2013 will see the employment figures continue to improve but the improvement will mainly be due to the continuation of the trend of workers taking part-time positions when they are looking for full-time positions. Companies will want a more flexible workforce and this will be a reason for more overseas based Companies investing in the UK. The employment figures have been a bright spark and a bit of a mystery.
- The housing market will again hold steady with first-time buyers still finding it difficult to get on the housing ladder.
When planning strategies for 2013 it is important to take into consideration the factors which will influence the wider economy and the particular industry which your Company operates in but planning is not an exact science and the skill comes in being agile and adjusting strategy to changing market conditions.
Wishing everyone reading this a great 2013.