The US-China Trade War Will Intensify
This short “ceasefire” is unlikely to last, however, so the U.S.China trade war will intensify in 2019. Insufficient progress on key issues will likely lead President Trump to raise tariff levels on Chinese imports. The administration may even impose tariffs on an additional $267 billion of Chinese goods—encompassing essentially the entire value of Chinese imports in 2017.
Bitcoin Will Lead Cryptocurrency Market
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The cryptocurrency market overall collapsed spectacularly in 2018; the 10 largest cryptocurrencies lost more than 80% of their collective value between January and September. However, cryptocurrency market will begin its second decade in a state of post-crash consolidation and maturation. By the end of 2019, Bitcoin will reclaim nearly two-thirds of the crypto market capitalization as altcoins lose their luster because of growing risk aversion among cryptocurrency investors.
Trash Crisis Will Spur Innovations in Waste Management
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According to the World Bank, global annual waste generation will grow 70% between 2016 and 2050. Food waste still represents the largest share, but the rise of e-commerce is causing an exponential increase in cardboard and other packaging trash. Recognition of the global trash crisis is rising, along with efforts to create a “circular economy” that more efficiently reduces, reuses, and recycles waste.
Shipping Industry Will Crash Into New Sulfur Regulations
On January 1, 2020, the IMO will enforce a ban on ships using fuel that has a sulfur content of 0.5% or higher. Ships will have the option to purchase “scrubbers” to reduce emissions from higher-sulfur fuel, but because the cost is between $1 million and $10 million per ship, it is not surprising that less than 3% of the global fleet has made this investment.
Xi-Putin Relationship Will Be The World’s Most Consequential Bromance
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As Russia remains under the weight of U.S. sanctions and China remains locked in an intensifying trade war with the United States, the two leaders are embracing their shared strategic interest in counterbalancing American influence.
Global Anxiety Epidemic Will Lead To A Proliferation of New Products
In 2019, there will be a proliferation of such consumer products hitting the shelves, supporting a multibillion-dollar market for treatment of anxiety disorders and depression. A vast gamut of products will be offered, ranging from affordable items such as new supplements and oils to costlier technology gadgets such as headgear and electrotherapies.
Sand Shortage Will Grind the Gears Of The Global Construction
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In 2019, rising sand prices will put financial strain on the construction industry, particularly in emerging and frontier markets. This trend could lead to the slowing or cancellation of some projects.
Looming Emerging Markets Credit Crisis With Grow In Scale And Scope
An emerging markets credit crisis will unfold in 2019. China—which is owed roughly 20% of African nations’ external government debt—will not have its debts due by the end of the year serviced, and its role as a major creditor to emerging and frontier markets will diminish. Pressure on emerging markets will also mount as the US Federal Reserve increases interest rates and the dollar strengthens. And despite a recovery in the prices of commodities, which are fundamental exports and serve as the foundation for many emerging market economies, currency depreciation for many exporters will prevent these countries from climbing their way out of systemic volatility.
Africa Will Be More Connected Than Ever
Intra-African cooperation and economic integration will accelerate in 2019. But while Africa will become more connected than ever in 2019, each of these efforts will require concerted commitments by African Union member states to realize the long-term gains of improved economic connectivity
Real-life 'Iron Man' Will Materialize In The Form Of Exoskeletons
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New technologies such as artificial intelligence will also help address previously difficult design challenges such as functionality, weight, and mobility for exoskeletons. In addition, there will be a growing market for exoskeletal suits designed to support injured or weak muscles and joints—particularly as the large Baby Boomer generation continues to age.