Predictions for 2019: Fortune’s Crystal Ball for the Year Ahead

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It’s that time of year again, when the pundits get their crystal balls out and begin making all kinds of predictions about the coming new year. This Fortune article does have some very interesting points to make though:

Congress Starts Legislating Again

A House freed from the demands of the Freedom Caucus starts voting on some long-overdue common-ground legislation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell—who for the past two years has focused his efforts on packing federal courts with conservative judges—works with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on spending, a farm bill, immigration reform, and an infrastructure bill that President Trump has long wanted to see on his desk. Expect a nominal concession from Pelosi on building “the wall” on the Mexican border to grease the wheels.

Trade War Gets Worse, Then Gets Better

Trade tensions between China and the U.S. continue to escalate, slowing U.S. GDP growth to 2.75% for the year. Hard-hit small businesses and farmers and the looming 2020 U.S. presidential election bring the two sides to the negotiating table, and a compromise is struck. Trump will claim a political victory in solving a problem of his own creation.

People Start Caring About Their Data

Corporations, thieves, and spies are aslosh in your data, yes. But there is something you can do about it. 2019 is the year consumers begin to vote with their feet. Regular folks—not just privacy nuts—will adopt ad blockers, VPNs, computer webcam shutters, encryption, and password managers. Suddenly, when purchasing a new toy, you will ask: How am I being digitally used—or abused?

Retail

In the wake of Sears Holdings’ failure to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early 2019, Amazon.com will come in and buy dozens of Sears and Kmart locations that will serve as new e-commerce distribution hubs and, in some cases, Amazon-branded stores. Read More

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