Looking Fowards 2017 and Beyond

12/31/2016 - USR NJ – What does 2017 hold in store for our industry? Despite all the present global issues and concerns, we are very optimistic in the future. There will be ups and downs as the global economy adjusts to domestic and international political changes. The mystic crystal ball predicts for 2017:
  1. General - Political reform resulting in lowering taxes and more business investment and job growth.
  2. Currency - The US$ will go to parity with the Euro in early to mid 2017.
  3. Energy- Oil will range from $45-65. This will be bad news for high cost areas like the Oil Sands, but other sources will see some price stability help improve slightly in 2017. Alternate energy will still invest in R&D looking to creating greater efficiencies.
  4. Metals- Steel markets will improve as the economy starts to gain momentum. We do not see new plants being built in North America, but the capacities of existing plants will increase via overhaul, upgrades or modernizations.
  5. Fertilizer – The market will see some increase in market demand for 2017 as some major mega plants have startup issues and delays. Overall, we see this market pricing improving moderately in 2017 with less investment in new plants than previous years.
  6. Petro Chemical – As the economy moves ahead, the markets will see some improvement. However, despite the incentives for domestic production, there is little movement in 2017 for new plant investment.
  7. General Manufacturing – with many political changes coming… the markets, to date, have reacted very positively to the incoming administrations agenda for domestic production. The crystal predicts skilled workers will be in high demand as manufacturers invest in expansions, revamps and new markets. Wages will go up and drive demand for new products.
  8. Financial Sector - will start the year on a positive footing. This will result in more increases in the interest rate in 2017. However, if the predicted reforms do not take shape to support the economy, the financial sector could stagnate later in the year. The tremendous debt looms over the economy and financial sector like a specter. If the economy doesn’t get going in early 2017, then there may be a financial shock by mid- October 2017. The “pullback” could be severe.
Caveat - The crystal ball predictions are subject to change and may or may not reflect our expectations for 2017. Either way, we wish you a prosperous, safe and healthy New Year.

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