Consumer spending proved to be weak, apart from during the World Cup, as the economy slowed
Political uncertainties around Britain’s departure from the EU dominate survey responses
Although the figures are much higher than for 2017, it was still the ninth safest year on record.
We are trying to be positive, but there’s little likely to put a smile on your face – except for a couple of things …
Making predictions in the world of business and economics is a fool’s errand but that’s no reason not to have a crack at it. Here are some things to look out for in 2019, which could be a rollercoaster ride.
What’s the problem?
Be it smartwatches or smart speakers, it’s never been easier to make gadgets. But only the big players have the muscle to survive
Imagine a shopper in an electronics store. Look, there’s a Fitbit display, with its “activity bands” which measure your steps and show details. Or, more pricey, its Versa smartwatch. Perhaps to save money, just buy the activity band? But wait … just over there are some generic activity bands, and they’re cheaper. Maybe save some money with those.
Move along a bit, and there are GoPro cameras. But once again, there are some slightly cheaper models beside them; not well-known brands, but a camera is a camera, surely? Further along, there’s a Parrot drone. Next to those is a Sonos speaker, which works with Amazon’s Alexa. But beside it is a cheaper Amazon Echo, and a voice-controlled Google Home, and a Siri-enabled Apple HomePod. Why would you go with the smaller brand, faced with those offerings from tech’s behemoths? Or, at the previous displays, why not just buy the cheaper models?
Related: The 20 best gadgets of 2018
My morning train reads: • Ryan Holiday: Holiday: How to Develop Better Habits in 2019 (Medium) • Hedge funds’ hopes for 2018 dashed amid closures (FN London) • Robert Mueller: TIME Person of the Year Runner Up (Time) • Facebook And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad 2018 (Buzzfeed) • The Best Investments of 2018? Art, Wine and Cars (Wall Street…