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Press Makes Forecasts for 2008

Posted January. 01, 2008 03:24,   


Most people hesitate to present a prospect for the coming year as debate over the success or failure of the prediction is likely to follow at year’s end. Nevertheless, while acknowledging that there is no magic ball that lets us know the future, some U.S. and British newspapers or magazines published a 2008 forecast for major matters of U.S. concern.

International Oil Prices-

The U.S. weekly Money Morning, quoting an international fund manager, forecasted, “International oil prices will surpass $100 per barrel in the spring of 2008.” The British Daily Telegraph predicted that oil prices will fluctuate to eventually end at $95 in the end of 2008.

Jacob Heilbrunn, deputy editor of the U.S. bimonthly National Interest, on the other hand, is one of a few who predict a drop in oil prices. He sees this as not because of some positive factors like alternative energy sources and new oil field development, but because the U.S. economic crisis will slow down the world economy, resulting in less demand for energy.

Housing Market–

One of the biggest concerns that the U.S. economy has for 2008 is whether the sluggish housing market and the ensuing credit crisis, caused by bad loans taken by lower-income households to purchase houses, will continue.

BusinessWeek predicts, “Housing prices will continue to drop.” Yet it writes that the rate of the drop will be marginal because “potential demand for housing with lower prices will increase.”

Bob Beckel, a Democratic Party election strategist, said in his article in USA Today that the housing market will recover because “Senators and Representatives will not sit on their hands when they see tens of thousands of houses with let ads in states like Ohio and Florida where intense competition is expected for the upcoming election.”

Presidential Election–

The biggest issue for 2008 is the presidential election in November 2008. With primaries starting on January 3, it is still difficult for both Republicans and Democrats to predict who is going to be their candidate. Few experts have made a prediction for the outcome of the primary.

Three senior editors at the Wall Street Journal said during a Fox TV program that aired on December 30, 2007, “The bubble in Democratic Senator Barack Obama’s currently growing popularity will fizzle out primarily because his vocabularies are too difficult and philosophical.”

War in Iraq-

The U.S. weekly Newsweek analyzed, “Even if attacks by Iraqi rebels slightly decrease, U.S. casualties will continue to increase. If a partial withdrawal of U.S. forces starts, the ability of the Iraqi government to govern the country will be put to a critical test.”

Yet as a complete withdrawal will depend heavily on the outcome of the presidential election, there is hardly any prediction about the move.

War on Terror –

Most forecasts concerning the issue foresee the continued strength of Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda and the mastermind behind the 9/11 bombings, despite rigorous U.S. hunting for him.

Cal Thomas, a conservative columnist, expressed his concern in his article in USA Today, saying, “The U.S. might see Taliban rise again if the U.S. cannot get rid of the group’s source of funding through the illegal opium trade.”