Before we peer into the future, let's look back at the past. Specifically, my 2016 predictions and whether I made it, missed it,or have to punt. It's Humble pie time.
My 2016 predictions were as follows:
1. We'd have a big wave of oil company bankruptcies: made it
Mercifully for many oil & gas companies, prices did recover in the back half the year, But low prices for much of 2016 were too much for many debt-strapped firms. The law firm of Haynes & Boone puts together an excellent report on the sector and as of December 22nd, the firm reported 70 bankruptcies in the sector, 26 more than last year, and totaling nearly $57 billion in debt.
2. Of Twitter, GoPro and FitBit, only one would end the yearas a stand-alone public company: missed it
I debated calling this a punt rather than a miss, but facts are facts. As of this writing, all three companies have faced tough years but remain solo. Despite repeated calls to do a deal and reports of interested parties, Twitter has yet to find a buyer. GoPro and FitBit remain single. Ironically, despite Twitter's much more well publicized woes, its stock has done the best of the three, down just 27 percent this year as of this writing. GoPro and FitBit are down 50 percent and 75 percent respectively, so unless something major turns around, expect this prediction to come true, just in 2017.
3. American manufacturing grows: punt
The unemployment rate for manufacturing declined with the national average, and the number of job openings in manufacturing is higher than it was a year ago, indicating improved demand. So that should seem like a 'made it,' but my side prediction about a month with 19 million annual rate of car sales doomed me. Though auto sales are nicely higher, they didn't quite get high enough. Lesson: don't make secondary predictions!
Be sure to check out my 2017 predictions coming out soon!