Three Questions for 2016

By Isaac Cohen*

The New Year is starting cloudy and at least three equally relevant factors are raising questions which will require monitoring throughout the year.

The Chinese economy is undergoing a transition which is generating volatility in exchange rates and world markets. The fall of 7 percent in China’s stock markets, on the first Monday of the year, led to a rout in world markets. In the United States, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index fell 6 percent, the worst starting week of any year of its history. Therefore, the question is if the Chinese economy will experience a hard or a soft landing.

The next question is how far oil prices will fall before reaching the bottom. Throughout 2015, overproduction, a strong dollar and slow demand pushed down oil prices. So far this year, the fall continued and prices are already under $30 per barrel. This is close to the $20 per barrel forecast supposedly necessary to persuade major producers to cut production and reduce the glut.

Finally, the last question is what the Federal Reserve will do with interest rates in the United States. As the only advanced economy that is growing moderately, the question is if the US economy can continue growing despite the global slowdown.

*International analyst and consultant. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio. Former Director, UNECLAC.

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About Ramón Jiménez

Ramón Jiménez, actual Managing Editor de MetroLatinoUSA. Periodista que cubre eventos de las comunidades latinas en Washington D.C., Maryland y Virginia. Graduado de la Escuela de Periodismo de la Universidad del Distrito de Columbia. Galardonado en numerosas ocasiones por parte de la Asociación Nacional de Publicaciones Hispanas (NAHP) y otras organizaciones comunitarias y deportivas de la región metropolitana de esta capital. También premiado en dos ocasiones como Mejor Periodista del Año por la cobertura de la comunidad salvadoreña; premios otorgados por la Oficina de Asuntos Latinos del Alcalde de Washington (OLA) y otras organizaciones. Ha sido miembro del jurado calificador en diferentes concursos literarios, de belleza y talento en la región metropolitana. Ha visitado zonas de desastre en Nicaragua, Honduras y El Salvador e invitado a esos países por organizaciones que asisten a personas de escasos recursos económicos. Antes trabajó en otros medios de prensa de Virginia y Washington, D.C., incluyendo reportajes para una agencia noticiosa mundial.

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