The year 2020 is creeping closer. But if you’re projecting economic forecasts and demographics for eight years from now, it seems like a lifetime away.
Neverthless, the fearless prognosticators at Kiplinger (the authors of weekly management decision-making letters and various other publications and products) consistently weigh in on future conditions. These are a few of their recent insights, in separate reports:
Don’t be shocked if inflation doubles, from 2% this year to 4% or a bit more by 2020. Higher interest rates will mean pricier mortages, about 8% compared to 4% now for a 30-year fixed rate loan. The homeownership rate will settle around 66%, higher than now but shy of the peak of 69% in 2006.
By 2020, health care will account for nearly one in nine U.S. jobs, adding more than 4 million jobs in the decade. Home health aides will be the fastest growth segment, but there will also be rising demand for registered nurses, physicians and surgeons.
Consumer spending in Africa will double by 2020 with the overall economy growing by 5% a year. Joining South Africa as growth hot spots will be Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Kenya. Others to watch: Ghana, Tunisia and Botswana (with plenty of minerals and a stable government).
Staying global and extending the time out five more years (to 2025) will result in more megacities. Projected to have 20 million people within its borders by that time (no city today has reached that level) are Mexico City; Tokyo; Shanghai; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and three Indian cities … Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. New York is listed as a possible ninth. Seven more Chinese cities will top 10 million each, according to the forecasters.
We might not remember to pull this or other predictions out eight years from now, but if we do I imagine the experts will be on target more than a few times.
Travel Leaders recently released the results of a survey of over 600 folks, inquiring about their travel preferences. As we all like to fantasize about such things while at work, let us indulge you. Here are the results:
If you won a trip anywhere in the U.S., which would you choose? (614 responses)
1. Cruise – 33.1%
2. Island Destination – 23.1%
3. Beach Destination – 18.4%
4. Resort Destination – 7.8%
5. Major U.S. City – 6.2%
Top “ideal U.S. island destination” was Maui, HI, followed by the U.S. Virgin Islands and Hawaii (The Big Island), HI, respectively.
Top “ideal U.S. beach destination” was Hawaii, followed by Florida and then California.
Top “ideal U.S. city to visit” was New York City.
Top “ideal national park to visit” was Yellowstone.
Top “ideal U.S. mountain destination” was Colorado.
Top “ideal U.S. golf destination” was a tie among Arizona, Hawaii and North Carolina.
What is your dream international destination? (609 responses)
3. (tie) Greece
3. (tie) Tahiti
6. (tie) Ireland
6. (tie) New Zealand
9. (tie) Egypt
9. (tie) France
I doubt I’m alone in thinking the fact that Branson isn’t mentioned once on this survey is a rather stark indictment of society.
The National Conference of State Legislatures’ blog has a post explaining how some folks, who may lack free speech privileges in their countries, are using Facebook as a way to broadcast their political messages:
This ‘Facebook political movement’ has also taken off in Egypt. One blogger, Sandmonkey, talks about how new media are being used to promote political activism. The LA Times wrote an op-ed on how the Egyptian government has threatened to shut down Facebook, after it was credited for helping to mobilize protests against food prices earlier this year. Moroccans used YouTube to capture protesters clashing with security forces, because sights like this would not be shown on state-run TV. Activists in Lebanon used text messaging to organize an anti-Syria rally.
And as I’ve posted before, Congress has gotten in on the social media action via Twitter. In fact, Indiana’s gubernatorial candidates — Governor Mitch Daniels and challenger Jill Long Thompson — currently have their own feeds (as best I can tell, these are official campaign feeds and not just orchestrated by fans).