The year 2022 was one of surprises: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, persistent inflation fueled by energy costs, the collapse of FTX and crypto markets, the revelations of the so-called Twitter Files, and one of the worst equity markets in recent history, to name but a few.
The year 2023 is poised to present some equally challenging circumstances. Here are 12 trends, events, or surprises that may come to shape and define the year ahead.
I may be the minority report here, but I do not believe we’ve seen the end of—or worst of—inflation in the United States. I argue that following a lag in which price growth appears to moderate, Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation returns to the 8–12 percent range, where it persists for the rest of the year. This will be cost-push inflation, not demand-pull (see the second point below), and a lagging result of trebling the money supply in the United States since 2009. Stagflation returns, with the Misery Index (inflation plus unemployment) hitting new highs.
This is a less controversial proposition at this stage, as most economists and analysts agree that recession looks highly probable for 2023. The first half of 2023 is likely to be characterized by negative GDP, rising unemployment, and an insecure consumer. The wave of layoffs which began in the tech sector in 2022 spreads to other industries and sectors, and migrates down from large-cap corporations like Meta and Amazon to small- and medium-sized enterprises which are disproportionately