The New Year will be an exciting one that will likely be shaped by the financial talks currently taking place in Washington. Here are some of the key trends to watch for in the coming year.
1. The “Fiscal Cliff” Crisis may determine the level of the Economic Recovery in 2013
As the year comes to a close, America is facing a number of economic headwinds (e.g. high unemployment and underemployment, mismatch between job skills required/positions available) and tailwinds (e.g. possible rebound in the housing sector, potential revival of domestic manufacturing, boom in energy production, improving household balance sheets). Senior government leaders in Washington are trying to solve America’s so-called “fiscal cliff” that is casting a dark shadow over the economy. The resolution of this crisis may go down to the wire and will likely set the tone for the economic recovery, or lack thereof, in 2013. Should America’s leadership come to a good understanding on tax increases and spending cuts, this will place the United States and probably Canada on a more solid path to an economic recovery, even if 2013 is not expected to be a year of robust growth. This will help shippers and carriers in all sectors of the economy. A failure to reach an agreement, a weak agreement or an agreement to push the problem down the road, will put a damper on discretionary spending, consumer confidence and possibly shove North America and much of the world into recession.
2. America’s Energy Renaissance/ Fracking comes to the USA
America is going through an energy renaissance. Induced hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracking, commonly known as fracking, is a technique used to release petroleum, natural gas (including shale gas, tight gas, and coal seam gas), or other substances for extraction. Fracking is allowing America to produce increasing supplies of energy just as the Middle East, the world’s leading source for petroleum, has become increasingly volatile....