2015 is just about at an end and 2016 is nearly upon us. So I thought it would be a bit of fun to make a few predictions for the year ahead. Here are 10 things that might just happen although most are a bit of a long shot. Please comment with your thoughts about these and with your own predictions.
1 - Schengen agreement will begin to fail
I am not going to go so far as to say that Schengen will collapse. However, under increasing pressure from displaced migrants entering Europe a number of key nations such as Germany, Belgium, France and Spain will reintroduce full border controls for all people entering. This will undermine the agreement and build further unrest within the European Union.
2 - UK interest rate to remain at 0.5%
The Bank of England lowered the UK interest rate to 0.5% back in March 2009. Throughout 2015 the Bank of England have been threatening a rate rise but this hasn't happened. The US has started to raise its rates so UK rates might start to move in the same direction but I don't think this will happen until 2017. There will be plenty of talk about rate rises, not least from the Bank of England, but they won't actually happen.
3 - George Osbourne to stand down as Chancellor
George Osbourne will stand down as Chancellor of the Exchequer during 2016. Another economic downturn will descend upon the UK, we can be sure of that, but when is more difficult to predict. Mr Osbourne wants to be in the running for leader of the Conservatives when David Cameron stands down and his chances are much better if he has not been Chancellor at the time of this downturn. He will probably take up the role of Home Secretary during 2016.
4 - 2016 El Nino will hit crop production
The 2016 El Nino will be the most severe on record. The climatic disruptions of this will affect crop production across the globe in places as disparate as Australia, America's southern states and Europe. A shortage of crop yields will push prices up and the Bloomberg Agricultural Spot Index will reach a high of 330, up 35% on its current 245.
5 - The EU Referendum
Finally the UK will get a referendum on its EU membership. Much as I would like the result to be that of leaving the EU, I predict that we will remain in.
6 - Assad will be assassinated
Russia will step up its military presence in the Middle East and, more worrying, increase its military action. As the warfare escalates, one of the victims will be President Basir Al-Assad of Syria who will be assassinated.
7 - Supermarkets to merge
The UKs mid-market supermarkets are facing an increasing squeeze from the low cost shop below and the high end stores above. There is becoming less and less market to fight over in the middle. Therefore during 2016 we will see a takeover bid or a negotiated merger of two of the major supermarkets within the UK. This is most likely to be between Sainsburys and Tesco although Morrissons could have a role in the party.
8 - Donald Trump to fade away
Once the US primaries and caucuses have got into full swing, Donald Trump will fade into political obscurity. Marco Rubio will go on to become the candidate for the Republicans but will be beaten to the Presidency by the Democrat candidate, Hilary Clinton.
9 - Mark Carney to stand down
During 2016 Mark Carney will announce that he will not be staying on as the Govenor of the Bank of England when his contract expires in 2017. Instead he will be moving to Frankfurt to replace Mario Draghi as President of the European Central Bank.
10 - FTSE 100 hits 6 year low
The FTSE 100 will hit a low of 5300. It has not been down this low since December 2009. At the time of writing it stands at 6254 down from its all time high of a little over 7000 back in April 2015.
There you have it, my predictions for some of what will happen in the political and economic landscape during 2016. Most of it doesn't paint a very good picture but on the other hand, none of it is totally disastrous unless you happen to be in the Middle East of course! I would love to hear your thoughts on my predictions and your own prediction so please do leave a comment below.
It should be interesting to check back in a year's time to see how many I got right...