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4th Jan 2013 3:38pm | By Carol Driver
If the words ‘fiscal cliff’ send you into a comatose state, fear not, help is at hand.
Here, TNT is going to explain in layman’s terms the economic forecast for 2013.
No, we haven’t gone all Financial Times on you, but if you want to make sure you get more bang for your buck while travelling, or if you’d like to know where to head for work to fund your global jaunts, read on; this is your essential guide.
2012 was full of doom and gloom; increased unemployment, austerity cuts, double-dip recessions ... you get the drift.
However, 2013 marks a new dawn – it’s the year to party and spend, spend, spend.
We’ve enlisted the help of economic guru Clifford Bennett to explain how you can get a piece of the pie.
Only a week in and things are already looking up for the new year, with even the “negative” International Monetary Fund expecting global growth to accelerate to 3.6 per cent – although Bennett, chief economist at White Crane Reports (whitecranereports.com), believes this could be as high as 4.2 per cent: “The outlook for 2013 is better than many suspect.”
He adds: “Do not expect more spending cuts. Even the oldies at the top of politics and central banking are finally starting to recognise a balance is needed between getting government debt down and keeping the economy going, for which read ‘voters still being prepared to play along’.
“So austerity has been established, and will be maintained or slightly softened, but things will not get any tougher.” He cites growth at 3.1 per cent GDP in the US as an indicator, saying despite the fiscal cliff being dealt with “clumsily”, the States should have a strong recovery year.
As for the rest of the world, Bennett adds: “China and Asia generally are already in re-acceleration mode.
“There is no doubt that with China ready to make the next big move, that is to urbanise central China after the success on the eastern coast, that demand for commodities and fashion labels will intensify.
“Latin America is stabilising, and about to surprise with a strong take off again in the first half of 2013. Even Europe will muddle through as usual, and could surprise as a bright spot of the global economy in the second half of the year.”
“European travellers are going to have a fantastic year in terms of both choice and value,” explains Bennett.
“The euro will surprisingly be one of the strongest currencies in the world. This is because everything negative, all the bad news, that could be thrown at the euro already has been.
“It is a little like a beach ball in the pool, it just keeps bouncing back, and this year with the US struggling to do much at all about its own debt problems, the hard work Europe has done over the last few years to get its house in order will begin to be fully appreciated.
“That could see the euro at 1.50 to the US dollar at some stage in 2013. So while the currencies of Asia and Latin America may well strengthen against the US dollar, the euro, as, would you believe, still the only viable alternative reserve currency to the US dollar, is likely to be even stronger."
In terms of job opportunities in 2013, Bennett predicts Asia will be leading the pack – although language could be a barrier in some industries.
“Opportunities will still exist, particularly in the hospitality industry, as many millions realise the world is going to keep turning, and start to spend up big for the first time in a while,” he explains.
Workers for the hospitality sector in Asia and Latin America will be in demand – and niche opportunities such as fruit picking in Australia will be a “slam dunk” when it comes to finding work.
“If looking for higher professional work then the major new global centres such as Shanghai, Beijing and Buenos Aires are likely to be keen to pick up high-quality contenders with European experience,” Bennett says.
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