2015 unlike every other in the past decade I would say has been a very interesting year full of ups and downs on various scales and trends. Beginning in January with very low rates of inflation (zero to negative figures) among major economies amid low oil and gas prices to interest rate uncertainties, record breaking mergers and acquisitions, Greece’s nightmare that shook the European Union, the Black Monday effect from China’s net trade protection and currency devaluation to issues on climate change, OPEC’s settlement on increasing oil supply, FIFA’s scandal, world leaders’ summit on climate change and many other matters that will make the list endless

Salient among these that puts the icing on the cake will undoubtedly be the hike in interest rate by Janet Yellen and her fellow policy makers at the Federal Reserve after six years.

Tim Hayes, investment strategist at Ned Davis Research Group, claims that 2016 will be a more bullish year for equities. It is very obvious that most experts are basing their predictions on the FED rate hike  and oil prices which have fallen drastically to below $40 per barrel. The great news is, at least we shall not see another rate hike or dive in the next twelve months which gives it a dovish appearance and some sort of assurance for investors. The big question here is, will oil prices continue to plunge? I suppose that will be a question that will be answered by the forces of demand and supply of oil.

I would never have believed five years ago if I was told that the price of oil will drop to less than $100 a barrel, talk less of $50 – this gives me a confirmation of how uncertain the global markets can be. Energy has a high possibility of bouncing back in 2016 since this continuous price drop has not come to stay. Of course statistics will tell us that every Tom, Dick and Harry across the globe has positive hopes for the new year- companies will find ways of performing better in the next financial year, countries will try to improve their economies, whereas larger unions will come up with policies that will cause sustainable development.

There is a whole lot that can be said concerning the outlook of 2015 and the likely events of 2016. My only conviction is to dwell on the positives (for things could be or could have been much worse) and be less skeptical for the year ahead.

 I’m rather optimistic that the economy of the United States will continue to thrive in spite of the highly anticipated 2016 presidential elections.

Although analysts feel it will cause an economic stir, I reckon there wouldn’t be much of an impact. The strengthening dollar against major currencies, although not so good for competing nations, would have some sort of advantage since there will be more of it in circulation.

Shifting the focus to emerging economies and developing countries, Africa is a place to look out for in the coming year if not for political instability especially in the northern part of the continent- According to the African Report magazine, about 25% of the world’s “developed” countries are located in Africa.

Africa’s Economic Growth Pattern, 2002-2016

A close look at the trend graph above shows that the actual figures and projections in growth rate are very healthy with 2016 shooting to about 5.2%. South Africa being one of the most developed countries in Africa recorded it’s biggest merger yet in 2015 – a pattern will be maintained in 2016, thence seeing more predator companies chasing their targets worldwide.

In summary, being mostly bullish in nature makes me always opt for the highs and not the lows, though in exceptional cases I tend to be bearish. One thing I know for sure is; you can’t hope for the lows especially when commencing a new year!