What does 2014 hold in store?

Good riddance to 2013. A year to forget. Welcome 2014. May you all have a wonderful year.

Couldn’t agree more!

2014 has to be an improvement!

So absolutely agree, awful year 2013!!

These are just a few of the comments I read via friends’ social media messages. Wow I thought – was 2013 that bad? Obviously yes if I judge it on these comments made by a small selection of friends that have careers in a cross-section of the economy. I would be a fool to disagree with them as I do concur that 2013 was a tough year.

However if you look at the index, South Africa’s JSE all share index (Alsi) in 2013, which was hampered by another brittle year in resources and a less than inspiring year in retail and property, it returned 21,4% according to the official factsheet.

This is compared to 32,1% in 2009, 19% in 2010, 2,6% in 2011 and 26,7% in 2012. I am no financial wizard but I would say that these are not bad returns if you relate it to the interest rates that you are getting from your bank.

A notable standout is 2011 and maybe we should look back and asses what happened that year because, according to the JSE all share index, it was a tough year and far worse than 2013. Possibly it was the bringing back to reality and the aftermath of the World Cup 2010?

While the average person may be making resolutions to stop smoking or exercise more, financial commentators and pundits have been busy putting together their predictions for 2014. Some are predicting that the JSE overall index could reach record highs over the next four years but any number of factors could blow the predictions off course, including energy prices, inflation, the petrol price and of course the economies of the US and China.

I am certainly looking forward to 2014 – especially as I have finally taken the leap and increased Metalworking News’ visibility by extending it to the web with the launch of its own dedicated website (www.metalworkingnews.com). The website includes the latest issue and archives of the publication in both digital and PDF format to download, news, industry events, international and local exhibitions, international and local associations, with links and contact details provided for you to research further.

The Metalworking News website is packed with information that you need at your finger-tips, is interactive and easy to negotiate. Large high quality pictures, that download in seconds, are a feature of the website.

The website, which went live on the 1st January 2014, also offers you a number of opportunities to extend your company and brand/s to a worldwide audience. Full details can be found further on in the magazine.

No matter what, let’s make 2014 a fruitful, positive and happy year.