Happy New Year!
Whew… that was some ride 2022 took us on. Between the Fed going wild on rate hikes to whispers of possible recession to fuel prices to Fletch finally hitting again on a sports prediction, 2022 was quite interesting.
2023 promises to be pretty unique, so let’s get to it with another year of Fletch Predicts, starting like I always do with sports.
Like I said, I got back into the “Win” column with basketball (Warriors), and my Hockey pick (Tampa Bay) made the finals, so I’m on a sort-of hot streak.
Football: I have to go with the Bills. How can you not? Especially if the playoffs go through Buffalo and their January weather.
Basketball: I hit with the Warriors last year, but will go another way this year. If they don’t implode, I like the Brooklyn Nets to win it. It’s not fair to pick a second team and have it count, but if it did the Denver Nuggets are a dark horse.
Hockey: Always hard to predict. I’m going old school this year with the Boston Bruins.
Baseball: I picked the Mets two years in a row, but I am dropping them even though they spent a zillion dollars on players. I’m staying local this year – Atlanta Braves!
Now let’s talk about business and the economy.
2022 saw rate hike after rate hike, including an unprecedented four consecutive 75 basis point increases.
I have good news and bad news here. The bad news is rates are very likely to keep rising well into 2023, maybe for the entire year. The good news is the increases will not be as large.
The Federal Reserve has been raising rates to address inflation, which remains stubborn. And they will not lower them until they are 100% sure inflation is vanquished. So even when inflation peaks (maybe late this year, maybe 2024?), rates will stay higher until some time passes.
My prediction is if you are financing equipment, any 2023 rate will probably be a rate you want to lock in, as it won’t be going lower anytime soon (and could still go up).
More business predictions: AI… We’re hearing a lot about AI. AI will be increasingly used in business, and coupled with Big Data, it will drive many business decisions. I don’t think we’re ready to throw our artwork and such to AI, but AI is very viable for things like target markets and such.
Supply chains have loosened up for some goods, but remain frustrating in others. I can feel a changing of blame in certain industries though, and that’s my prediction. For awhile it was fair to blame Covid, but for some companies, the “Lean” aspect of operations is what’s causing a hiccup in the delivery of expected products and services. And consumers/buyers are noticing. The late December Southwest Airlines fiasco is the tip of the iceberg here. Don’t let that be you.
This also represents opportunity – if your competitor is faltering because they don’t have enough delivery trucks or workers or machines or whatever, that’s an opening you may not have had in years’ past. Can you step in? (Hint: fast financing can help.)
For most industries, 2023 should be fairly stable, even with whispers of recession (which if it happens, I feel will be mild and short). But I also feel the previously mentioned “lean” aspect will loom larger as a narrative. It might even spawn a catchphrase or two.
Oh, one last thing: we’re going to hear about Twitter ALL-YEAR-LONG. I do not know if that’s good or bad.
And there you have it – some predictions for 2023. Let’s continue my hot streak – Go Bills!