The source for today’s lesson is an article taken from Bloomberg News, titled “Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Year”. The article makes several predictions about markets in 2024. They say that there will be “Dollar Bears” “Bond Bulls” and “Steady Stocks”. Listen again: dollar bears; bond bulls; steady stocks.
Let’s begin with the expression “Dollar Bear”.
Dollar Bears: This term refers to the expectation of a weaker dollar in 2024. Analysts predict this due to forecasts of interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve and a shift of investments from the safety of the US dollar to riskier options. So, a bear market is a weak market, and in this case, a weaker dollar.
Bond Bulls: This expression indicates a positive outlook for bonds in 2024. The Federal Reserve’s shift towards a more lenient monetary policy is expected to improve US debt, leading to a decrease in the yield of 10-year Treasury bonds. So, a bull market for bonds? That is a strong, vibrant market.
Steady Stocks: This phrase describes a stable and unexciting equity market for the next year. Despite not expecting major changes, investors remain optimistic, riding on the hopes of a soft economic landing and multiple interest rate cuts. No big increase and no big decreases for the stock market in the US this year. It’s expected to be steady.
The article goes on to say that central banks will be a key source of news in 2024. In fact, economists at Bank of America expect there will be more than 150 rate cuts globally over the next 12 months, which would be the first time since the pandemic year of 2020 in which reductions outpaced hikes, and by ‘hikes’, I mean increases.
The article goes on to say that 2024 is going to be a big year for elections. Bloomberg Economics estimates voters in economies accounting for 44% of global output will head to the ballot box, including those in the US and India. The wars in Ukraine and Gaza add to the geopolitical risks, but on the fun front, Paris will host the Summer Olympics, something sure to supercharge the economy in France this year. Imagine getting a hotel!
A useful idiomatic expression in this context is “getting back on track,” which means returning to a normal or stable condition after a period of chaos or disruption. As we discuss these economic forecasts, this idiom is particularly relevant. It reflects the global economy’s journey towards stabilization and normalcy following the unusual events and uncertainties of the past few years.
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As we embark on this new year, I wish all my listeners prosperity and success in 2024. May it be a year of growth, both in your professional endeavors and in your mastery of the English language.
Remember the key words from our lesson today: Dollar Bear, means a weakening dollar; Bond Bull, means a strengthening bond market; and Steady Stocks, means that no big change is expected in the equities market, at least as far as in the United States, which is always a useful benchmark, no matter what country you live in. And our idiom “getting back on track”. I hope that 2024 is when the economy of your own country, gets back to normal!
Thank you for tuning in to English for Economists. I’m Alan Robert, and I look forward to our next podcast. Until then, keep practicing and expanding your economic vocabulary!