It is that time of the year again when we look forward to a New Year and imagine what is in store for us.
2018 will be a year with an activist new Government. Ambition and reality will bump up against each other.
But New Zealand will start the year in a very strong economic position, underpinned by that strong Q3 GDP result, and the Q4 result is likely to be similar.
And almost all our trading partners are in a healthy state as well. In fact world trade is booming, a fact that few of last year's commenters foresaw.
2017 was tame climate-wise. Global insurance losses were mostly concentrated in one American storm system. Global insurance claims in 2005 and 2011 were higher. New Zealand had a few climate events, but in reality, extreme weather is 'news' because of its relative rarity factor, not its regular recurrence. This is not to say climate change is not occurring, just that we seem to be handling the minor impacts so far with relative ease and adaption. For example, the current La Nina dry conditions finds those regions that have adequate water storage (like Auckland = 90% full, Canterbury with its irrigation schemes) in much better shape than those without such capacity (Hawkes Bay, Taranaki, Manawatu). As a consequence, the reduced forecast from Fonterra is much less significant that it could have been.
So, what do you think will happen in 2018? (Please focus on the economic aspects.)
Were you brave enough to record your guess last year? You can find it here and check out how good a forecaster you were.
We love bagging economists and their forecasts, but it seems to me many/most of us who had a crack at what will happen in 2017 got it materially wrong - and in major ways. There were also some flukes that came in but that "accuracy" didn't seem to extend to other wild guesses, even from the same commenters.
Can you do better for 2018?
This story is to encourage you to record your 2018 predictions.
They can be on any topic that has an impact on the New Zealand economy: anything, including property, interest rates, exchange rates, insurance, rural issues, the dairy payout, our migration issues, our relationship with China, the big international economic influences, even the shifting international power balance. But please try to ground them in the economy. (For example fashion or celebrity comments are not relevant, but climate change issues are.)
You will need to be logged in to comment and respect our commenting policies (and respond to others' differing views in a respectful and civil way).
Over to you.