What’s Ahead in Business for 2018?

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The gamut of opinions for how economic conditions will unfold during 2018 is seemingly as vast as the number of media outlets accessible in today’s Information Age. Will the bull market continue unabated, or is a sharp market correction poised to unfold? What role will uncertainty with this year’s midterm elections have on the economic climate? Will companies use a lightened tax burden from recently passed legislation to hire, or will they reward only executives and shareholders?

Those questions and seemingly hundreds more have been addressed in a wide array of 2018 economic forecasts. For example:

  • Fortune Magazine’s editorial staff predicts, among other things, GDP growth won’t reach levels promised by those who delivered 2017’s tax-reform plan, a federal-funds rate increase to 2.25% by year’s end, and a surge in oil prices to $60 a barrel;
  • Forbes contributor Ian Altman foresees growth in AI, rising wages and favoring interactive experiences over social media in the year ahead;
  • Indexing 100 of its most-saved search terms from the past year, Pinterest’s staff predicted those who provide such goods and services as air fryers, large-scale wall art, historically themed travel and finger tattoos (yes, finger tattoos) will be extremely busy during the upcoming year;
  • Iowa has long served as a political bellwether with the inaugural primary of every Presidential election cycle, so the Hawkeye state seems a place to get common-sense forecasts for what lies ahead in 2018. The Iowa City Corridor Business Journal surveyed local leaders, who predicted a strong retail year based on growing consumer confidence, a busy construction year, defining brand purpose as a central marketing strategy and manufacturing growth that will begin to reverse a years-long decline.