Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Predictions for 2012

Predictions from business leaders about what they can expect in 2012

The ancient Mayans believed that world would come to an end in late December, 2012.  Nostradomus also predicted the destruction of the planet in 2012, as a result of natural disasters and a collision with another planet. 

But don't worry. Antonio Vazquez, the “Great Wizard” of Mexico says the theories of doomsday in 2012 are “big fat lies.”

Blackrock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK), the world’s largest asset manager, does not foresee the end of the world in 2012, either.  In fact, Chief Equities Strategist for Blackrock, Bob Doll, predicts that U.S. equities will experience a double-digit percentage return in 2012, the European debt crisis will begin to ease, and that China and India will contribute to more than half of the world’s economic growth, despite slowing growth.

Vice Chairman of Blackstone Advisory Partners, and former senior strategist for Morgan Stanley predicts that the economy will finally take off in 2012, with GDP accelerating at 3% and unemployment falling below 8%.  He also predicts that the price of oil will drop to $85/barrel, and the S & P will surge over 1400. 
Bill Gross, manager of Pimco’s $252.2 Billion Total Return Fund, offers a much gloomier outlook for 2012, if not an end of the world scenario.  He believes that the world has too much debt, and says that investors should lower their expectations for 2012, predicting 2 to 5% returns on investments in stocks, bonds and commodities.  He is betting on tax-free municipal bonds in 2012, an asset class he calls under-valued, owing to scare headlines about municipal bankruptcies and threatened defaults.”

According to Mashable, the year of Apple, Inc. is at hand.  “Apple will release a triumvirate of products, including a super slim edge-to-edge screen iPad 3, the long awaited iPhone 5 and an Apple TV…whch will seamlessly integrate the internet.”

Brad Bannon, US News and World Report, predicts that President Barack Obama will narrowly defeat Mitt Romney in the presidential election.  

The AccuWeather.com Long-Range Forecasting Team predicts a brutally cold and snowy winter for a large part of the country.  

Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen says that 2012 is the year that conventional retailers will really begin to feel the heat from E-tailers.”Electronics and clothes are going to be the real pressure point.”

Writing on the American Express website, Small Business Speaker and Consultant, Barry Moltz, offers good news for small business owners.  He writes that, “after four years, frugality fatigue has hit consumers as demonstrated by the higher than expected holiday sales numbers…The macro economy is no longer stopping any small business owner from growing their own business.   It is time to give up that excuse.”

Will gold break $2,000 in 2012?  Maria Bartiromo says: “I would probably bet gold does break $2,000.  The fact is there is so much economic and political uncertainty in the world…people want save havens.  Jim Cramer agrees:  “Gold will exceed $2,000 in 2012 because the European Central Bank will have to print euros to bail out so many countries and raise the value of gold as a version of the world’s reserve currency.  Gold will be a terrific performer once again.”  

Jack Blumner, Executive Director of the ExecutiveOffice Center at Fresh Meadows, believes that the office center will double its current roster, and end the year with within range of 200 tenants/virtual tenants.  “Increased confidence will bring small business owners back into the market for office space, and the Executive Office Center at Fresh Meadows provides the most economical rental platform in Queens.”