2015

December 2015

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in 2015

2015: A Year in Review

In many ways 2015 was a year of contrasts. We saw increasing confidence in global financial markets driven by a more stable US economy, juxtaposed with a more fragile Eurozone. In June, Greece became the first developed country to fail to make an IMF loan repayment and the Europeans struggled to agree on how to manage their whopping €323bn debt. The news swiftly moved to the migrant influx into Europe which has threatened the stability of the whole region, seemingly culminating in the second terrorist attack in Paris this year. The migrant crisis combined with the escalating war in Syria threatens the Schengen free-travel agreement, and coupled with managing Greece’s debt, the strength of the EU will likely be affected for years to come.

Meanwhile the US economy is slowing awakening from its seven year hibernation with Fed Chair Yellen likely to raise rates for the first time since June 2006 on 16th December. This is an historic moment for the US economy that finally sees the global driving economy return to a normal rate-setting environment and effectively means that the Fed is finally in a position to manage US economic growth. While the US economy remains structurally shaky this is a step in the right direction. Combined with a new president-elect in November 2016 this should be a big confidence boost for the US and global growth through the latter part of 2016.

Asia-Pac has in many ways gone about its business of sustained growth through 2015. It was a great year for the people of Myanmar with the military elite finally allowing free elections, while disagreements regarding Chinese naval basis in the South China Sea are ongoing. The World Bank has downgraded its forecasts for growth in Asia through to 2017. We expect to see a more subdued period of growth from the big regional economies of China and India as they shift toward a more balanced and sustainable growth trajectory. Having said this, many of the economies across the broader Asian region are forecast for 6-7% growth until 2018. The booming economies of Asia are maturing and shaking off the ‘emerging economies’ label. Of course, the region still grapples with rapid growth problems like pollution, political instability and corruption. Australia is looking at aslower 2016 due in part to lower commodity prices as it seeks to reinvent itself from a resource-based economy. It is looking at alternative areas of growth, taking advantage of a highly skilled workforce.

This leads us to comment quickly on climate change, which recently brought world leaders together in Paris. Expect the tackling of climate change to be high on the agenda for 2016, with the US and China finally getting serious about the biggest danger to global growth and standards of living. The Chinese are feeling the by-product of their rapid growth literally through the air they breathe with the air quality deteriorating to close to unliveable conditions in many cities. In the years ahead we will see some serious advancements in the area of renewable energy, not just from leading Scandinavian and European countries, but from the world’s biggest carbon emitters, especially in Asia-Pac.

Have a safe Christmas, try to disconnect and we look forward to helping in your search for work across our four locations of Sydney, Singapore, Melbourne and Hong Kong in 2016. Please reach out to us directly if you are actively seeking a move. And for bite sized pieces of industry news and the latest job opportunities, be sure to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

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