As a tradition, here are my humble issues which will affect you in 2015.
1. US Dollar-EURO Exchange
During the first five months of the year, the dollar will continue to strengthen. The Euro will continue to become cheaper against other currencies. This is not bad for Europe, since our products will become cheaper and this will boost European exports. Additionally, tourists with US Dollars will return to visit us. The relationship between the price of a barrel of oil and the USD is also clear: if the USD strengthens, oil becomes cheaper. This explains the current price, and also since the world is still in a recession, there is an oversupply of oil for the current economic activities.
2. Robotics and Reshoring
Industry will return to the old continent. Robotics will take over jobs from industrial workers, since the labor costs remain high. Due to the lower energy prices, the robots doing part of the work, “made in Europe” will flourish again.
3. More Wearables
Last year, 4 million wearables were sold across the world. The amount will continue to increase this year. These will also become more apparent in textiles and will be able to measure all kind of daily activities. So, we can call it “the Internet of Shared Things”.
4. Healthy Lifestyle
No more diets, please! We will increasingly adapt our lifestyle to a healthy one. We realize that longevity will not come by itself, but that we need to work on that on an individual basis. We look into more healthy food, and that means not only ‘light’ products, but change our eating patterns.
5. The Year of The Goat
According to the Chinese tradition, 2015 is of Wei! It will be a year of creativity and responsibility. Aggressiveness will not be tolerated and the year of “I”, “me myself and I” will be replaced by “We”. We are going to do things more together, with less social media and more regular contact. We will protest together against unfair practices or eventually go on strike together.
6. The Swissness Democracy, Our Key Export Product
Usually we never make a political statement here, but we see that the Swiss Democracy is becoming the number one export product in this country. More and more citizens want to have their say, so the ideal instrument is the referendum, invented in this country and widely practiced. We can be proud of that but also should preserve it properly and not misuse it for everything and anything.
7. Zero Economic Growth, Zero Marginal Costs…
…are the key words of the coming years. We will have to live with the fact that in a zero growth period, we still need to create new jobs, and not only on a state-level.
Like every year, these predictions or observations are not 100% sure, but should have some reflective value on your professional and private future. If it makes you think, we are happy!
Have a fantastic 2015!
Bert Wolfs, Ph.D.
SBS Swiss Business School