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Blame it on the year?

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Blame it on the year?Chin up – it can’t go on like this forever...

Poor 2016 ... it seems to have been the scapegoat for everybody’s misfortune over the past 12 months. Everyone (and I’m not using that term flippantly) seems to have deemed 2016 the year of bad luck and misfortune, poor business performance, high prices and a low bank balance, political whammies, weight gain ... well, I could go on...

I won’t, for two reasons. First, if you think about it, 2016 wasn’t The Worst Year... Sure, business was down overall and budgets were cut (by the end of the year, the motoring media industry very sadly lost three great publications). However, vehicle sales in the commercial vehicle industry (a trusty barometer of economic activity) ended roughly in the ball park of predicted (albeit revised) figures.

The upside – the slump wasn’t as bad as the infamous one of 2008.

Check out our own market predictions for 2017 on page 6.

The second reason is that this is a new year – and that should mean new beginnings, new opportunities, new positivity. Sure, we may be starting on the back foot; what with poor business performance, wariness over political leaders new (Trump) and old (Zuma) and all that weight gain ... but things have to look rosier at some point.

For example, I’ve heard more than one economist suggest South Africa has hit the bottom and should start climbing by mid-year. We did, after all, manage to avoid a downgrade to “junk” status at the end of 2016.

So, as we move into 2017, remember that the world (and South Africa) has seen far worse years than 2016 – and will undoubtedly see many more that are far better, too.

 

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