The year ahead in world politics may be uncertain but will be interesting

EDITORIAL

There is a feeling of uncertainty and anxiety throughout the world and also in New Zealand as 2017 begins in earnest.

The effects of last year’s political tremors, Brexit and the election of Donald Trump will be felt more strongly as time goes on and nobody really knows what the final outcome will be.

Trump does not help matters with sweeping comments that seem to have come off the top of his head and are fired off through his preferred medium of Twitter. While there are signs that he is moderating his views to some extent, the traditional first 100 days of his presidency will be interesting to say the least.

The appointment of hawks like retired general James “Mad Dog Mattis” as secretary of defence will do nothing to allay apprehension as to how Trump will act on problems like North Korea.

The other great concern is that Trump will launch a trade war with China which would be devastating for the world economy including New Zealand. It may not be long before many people begin to appreciate the Obama years.

Brexit is likely to have hopefully less practical impact on New Zealand but will have a widespread one on the European Union as other states consider following Britain out. Developments like the resignation of the UK Ambassador to the EU Sir Ivan Rogers show that this will not be an easy divorce for Theresa May and her government.

Here in New Zealand one of the great risks is an interest rise that could be devastating for many, both speculators and home owners, because of their effect on mortgage repayments. Many New Zealanders are finding it difficult already to be able to afford basic rental accommodation.

It is significant that national household debt is higher now than it was before the great financial crisis of 2008.

A pending election always creates uncertainty which is anathema to the markets.

It would be an exaggeration to say that it is all doom and gloom, especially for this country, but the coming few months are not going to be anything like a relaxing time.

There is a feeling of uncertainty and anxiety throughout the world and also in New Zealand as 2017 begins in earnest.

The effects of last year’s political tremors, Brexit and the election of Donald Trump will be felt more strongly as time goes on and nobody really knows what the final outcome will be.

Trump does not help matters with sweeping comments that seem to have come off the top of his head and are fired off through his preferred medium of Twitter. While there are signs that he is moderating his views to some extent, the traditional first 100 days of his presidency will be interesting to say the least.

The appointment of hawks like retired general James “Mad Dog Mattis” as secretary of defence will do nothing to allay apprehension as to how Trump will act on problems like North Korea.

The other great concern is that Trump will launch a trade war with China which would be devastating for the world economy including New Zealand. It may not be long before many people begin to appreciate the Obama years.

Brexit is likely to have hopefully less practical impact on New Zealand but will have a widespread one on the European Union as other states consider following Britain out. Developments like the resignation of the UK Ambassador to the EU Sir Ivan Rogers show that this will not be an easy divorce for Theresa May and her government.

Here in New Zealand one of the great risks is an interest rise that could be devastating for many, both speculators and home owners, because of their effect on mortgage repayments. Many New Zealanders are finding it difficult already to be able to afford basic rental accommodation.

It is significant that national household debt is higher now than it was before the great financial crisis of 2008.

A pending election always creates uncertainty which is anathema to the markets.

It would be an exaggeration to say that it is all doom and gloom, especially for this country, but the coming few months are not going to be anything like a relaxing time.

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Winston Moreton - 2 years ago
The new PM will deliver some income tax cuts which will stimulate growth in the regions.

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