Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Time to do nothing


Just a short breather before moving onto Latin America. Hopefully we can work our way through Mexico, Argentina,  Venezuela and Brazil by the end of the year so we can start 2014 by looking at success rates to date, a few more currencies that I missed along the way and review the forecasts to obtain a better global perspective as to where we are going over the next 3 years. 

In terms of success rates I’m not so sure I will have done so well this time. I haven’t been as confident with my forecasts as I was in 2008- my thoughts just don’t seem to have flowed so easily this year.  So, while the last lot of forecasts remained unchanged throughout the period, I might be updating these 2014-16 predictions in future posts.

Nevertheless there are some themes which do seem to be emerging and probably won’t need changing. Certainly the individual countries have revealed some key repeating themes which seem to centre around big events s in 2015. Yet if we are to be properly prepared much more work is required.  I will try my best to supply that effort but my time is not always my own these days.

I would also like to devote a little more time to some philosophical questions and to return to look again at some of the fundamental energies we are dealing with.

I’ve just finished a book called Nothing which is indeed about nothing. While it did not contain much that I had not already read before ( I am sadly geeky at times), it did make me think again about some of the universal concepts that underpin the forecasting model I work with. So more of nothing is to come.



Australia 2013-16


Perhaps not an obviously Australian picture- but the collection of photos that this is taken from are all of the Australian sky and are awe inspiring, perhaps giving some perspective to our petty concerns with economics and politics!
Australia is another country that has benefited from the ongoing commodity boom of the 2000s, more recently concerns have been expressed about the sustainability of the housing boom ( some commentators say bubble), the resultant debt levels and the consequence of the ending of the mining sector expansion.
 Once again we start by backtracking to the beginning of 2013. There were one or two easily predictable political events which were missed due to the delay in getting these forecasts out, which is a shame, but it looks to me as if there will be plenty more highly significant events to predict in the country in the next few years.
As 2013 started there were challenges behind the scene for the leadership, and worries about the sustainability of the economic position, but there was still an aura of protection which was preventing any dramatic changes.
The political situation remained static in April, but there were some more worrying economic statistics. On the other hand there was a significant step forward in global relations as China opened up Aus trading
To stimulate exports etc, in May the Australian bank cut rates to a record low and this together with continued scaling back of investment in mining etc led to currency falls.
The pace of events speeded up in June though as Kevin Rudd ousted Julia Gillard and in July the country was affected by the emerging market currency concerns elsewhere as once again there were worries about the impact on the Australian economy. Then in August the bank cutthe rate again.
The election in September saw the opposition elected.
The economic opinion favoured some growth but not as much as some hoped for but by October business confidence was at a 3 year high.
Nevertheless the doubts over housing and investment remained. The month was also notable for serious bush fires around Sydney.
November was characterised by worries about the budget and the potential impact on households as well as the fallout from intelligence information leaked by Snowden which caused problems with Indonesia 
We can probably expect some pressure on the government in December  as a result of popular dissatisfaction but nothing too significant. 
2014 is likely to be a taster of events that will occur later – probably in earl 2016, but we will get there gradually.
In January and February 2014 two themes run in parallel. A major financial re-organisation and  period of difficulty for the new leadership.
Indeed if we hadn’t already had 2 changes of leader in the last 6 months, one might even expect that now. What is clear is that the people are feeling put upon and are not likely to be enjoying their summer.
March to June sees creeping changes in communications, possibly in bank rates and there might be some shock statistics coming through.
The government is criticised for overstepping the mark and trying to do too much when the people think that the economy needs a lighter touch.
But in June, at least, there is positive news and the mood is good.
It is July and August when we get a taste of what might follow later. There is a background feeling of easing situations and a certain drive to increase investment. It seems at this time as if the resources sector is doing well again, although there are some investment constraints and some elements are too disruptive – there may be questions over immigration. July sees a shift in the government position on economic matters and perhaps a turning point in the residential property market. August is a month when everything in the garden looks rosy.
 The background mood continues right the way to November, but there is some unsettling news in September and October and this will worry the population somewhat again. 
By November, although there is still juice in the resources sector, there is likely to be less in the property one as sales may dry up.
December is a remarkably quiet month with little of note that is new. Although globally things are likely to be shifting
 2015 is a critical year when things change globally and this has an impact on Australia
Although January and February are moderately calm, March is likely to see a dramatic shake up. Expect this to involve immigration flows and to impact on the debt structures of the country as well as the resources sector. A mining disaster can’t be ruled out at this time either. There is an excess of emotion that is not helpful. There is certainly work for the government to do in restoring matters to an even keel.
April and May see a continuation of the shake-up. There are some significant flows of funds and perhaps people.
The rather tricky situation for the government continues. The population of the country are not likely to be happy with them
Although the themes continue in June, there is less intensity involved. But the government must face some hard challenges from the people.
July and August are months where the overriding theme is one of immense power. A very good time for solving economic issues and for improving trade. Although by the end of August there are some questions over the long term impact of actions, there is a sense of optimism and achievement. 
 September and October see a continuation of the themes but with less potency. There are one or two questions over the decline of some assets but generally things are good. Inevitably the government will benefit in terms of image.
 The last two months of the year see more of the earlier instabilities recurring – but the mood is still very good and although there are some concerns about government policy the overall situation is reasonable.
In January 2016 there is a permanent ( well in the general scheme of 100s of years anyway) change in the direction of Australia,
This accompanies a continued focus on the shake up of 2015, but by February there is a deeper, more austere feel to the changes., long held structures in mining, finance and development will find their foundations challenged. However this seems to be relatively well received by the country as a whole and the mood remains positive.
Indeed the leadership seems to be viewed in a favourable and perhaps unrealistic light at this time.
March sees the impact of the earlier changes spread more widely through the economy as the impact of flows of currencies and people is felt more widely.
April and May are more mixed months. There is general optimism but there may also be some isolated unpleasant incidents which belie this,
June therefore sees a return to some of the more challenging days of February time – once more issues of debt and resource investment dominate. There may even be some attempts to clamp down on any unrest.  
July and August are calmer months. But this is not necessarily good being due partly to a lack of decisiveness. The period is mixed with some austerity and some more positive perspectives.
By the end of August there is probably just a short period of delusion and/or inflation.
September is another months when there is less outright drama. Again the government is viewed in a favourable light and even any restrictions on activity are considered a positive for the country.
October is a month of consolidation and is accompanied by a surprisingly positive mood
The final months of the year, however, see a return to the unsettled conditions of mid –year as more attempts are made to implement structural transformations at business level.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Canada 2013-16

Just a regular picture for my chosen artwork this time, but what a pic. I toyed with choosing some modern art, some architecture and then some pictures of moose but in the end my favourite animal wins out.

I must admit I also toyed with changing the base chart I use for Canada as I still have reservations about it. But in the end it was the country’s flag that convinced me to keep the chart.
Canada came through the financial crisis of 08 relatively unscathed due partly to its more conservative banking system but also to the fact that it is one of the commodity based nations. However the benefits have to some extent been eroded as the sense of security has subsequently resulted in possible overextension
One of the areas that came under the spot light in late 2012 was the Senate expenses. This had the potential to tarnish the image of the country. So in February 2013 an investigation started. Of course this was less amusing than the new banknotes showing the wrong maple leaf!
The report of the scandal was issues in May, but not all the accused accepted any wrongdoing and the report was not  The net was widen as other parts of the government started to look at expense issues to.
The economy and most particularly house prices was still buoyant but more questions were being asked on its sustainability.
In June the bank of Canada assessed the stability of the financial system as relatively sound. But continued doubts were expressed about the housing boom and related debts and the Candian dollar fell to ist lowest of the year.  A cabinet reshuffle in July attempted to move forward and put the scandals away to regain public trust as well as increasing the number of women
Worries that the economy was losing momentum were put to rest with positive statistics for July and August. In retrospect though this might be seen as the time the boom ended.
A survey in august indicated that the scandals had caused a significant amount of distrust amongst the voters.  This was having a positive effect on views of the opposition.
September saw some recovery in the dollar as a result. Although this was a temporary rise on a downward trend through the year.
In October the bank downgraded its forecasts for the economy over the coming few years. But it also signed a landmark trade deal with the EU
In November some senators were suspended following the corruption  allegations.
December sees the culmination of a 30 year cycle and some shocks which might disrupt the government further.  Debt worries will dominate for the people,
January sees only a continuation of December’s concerns, but some upsets in government are likely again.
February to April are dominated by the long term economic cycles.  There seems to be a continuation of the spending which has created some much personal debt in the country. There are some positive statistics and accompanying delusion. But people are worried and there is a sense that things are not being properly controlled.
The naïve optimism and excess liquidity that characterises the broader economic picture dominates throughout the rest of the year really. But there are also some shocks around May and June which contribute to a loss of faith. Energy sources are likely to be a key topic under discussion.
Concerns continue among the population though. There is a  price to be paid for debt and this is lack of future disposable income. This is starting to be felt.
 There are some tensions building that won’t be fully felt until spring 2015 but need to be carefully monitored.
However the latter part of the third quarter seems to be devoid of these concerns with even the government having a positive boost.
In October and November, there may be more economic uncertainty and perhaps political revelations.  It is possible that the pattern of Canadian government/parties will be changing over this period. There is also a trend towards more female involvement. 
Communication and debate is highlighted but there may be efforts to suppress attempts by the people to stimulate such debate. Economically it means little change to rates.
The final month of the year brings only a continuation of the main 2014 issues as further pressures build up towards 2015
With no let up in the background conditions in January and February, we finally reach a point where things become more concrete.  The events may have echoes of 1931-2 , when Canada’s independence became legally substantiated and when strikes by miners etc dominated the news .
The first few months of 2015 thus look difficult for the government, although there are still mitigating effects in play.
March to May sees the beginning of the end of the boom, or cheap credit , perhaps as a result of the readjustment of currencies everywhere. The commodity situation protects Canada still though, but the leadership has some heavy burdens to deal with.
The population finally start to come to terms with the end of the good times.
However in June to September there is evidence that government and people are on the same page as they deal with the surrounding conditions.
August is a time of big announcements and big exchange movements.
September is one of dramatic and significant action. It is all change now.
We still haven’t seen the back of the long term structural economic questions in October through December , and there are still more events to be played out in terms of Canada’s political and economic position in these last few months as well as into early 2016. The elections are planned for now and events are likely to have created a significant opposition although the people seem aligned with the existing party.
The times are challenging but very interesting and there is still the protection afforded by commodities etc.
There are changes affecting banking and debt matters as well as the mining industry in January and February 2016. And the dramas, both internal and external that accompanied 2015 start to reach their conclusion. There are some inflationary concerns but there is probably sufficient restriction to keep these in check and only lead to minor instability.
March to May, then, sees a change of mood with  a very easy time for the government. Although there are economic transformations at work these are also progressing relatively positively.
But there are some irritations and petty disruption, shortages and disputes may create some minor problems.
June and July, however sees a more sombre mood again. There may be issues relating to the overall country debt, which perhaps have become more pressing as a result of 2015’s events. Economically there are conflicts between income /trade and asset values which create problems for many people and restrictions in trading cause some problems for the mining and commodities industries.
Various surprising revelations and price/arte changes characterise the next few months.
At first the government is open with communication, later there are some more tricky matters to be dealt with but the leadership appears to be in favour by October and on balance the country seems to be experience controlled economic adjustment rather than any further dramatic shocks.
There is further focus on commodities in November, and further restrictions on trading.
But at  the same time the government is making some big changes and there may even be a brief return to the booming conditions of the past in some markets.
However December is a month of shifts. There are some final external matters that impact the country ( hangovers from 2015), and these may impact the mining and financial industries again. Relations with other countries are highlighted as a result and there may have to be some re-evaluation of household asset values.

Friday, 8 November 2013

South Africa 2013-16


A return to architecture for our South African art -the Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre  is quite beautiful
2012 wasn’t  a particularly easy year in South Africa, as, along with the more structural problems , (poverty Aids etc.)  ther were problems in the one area the country has depended on – mining with a number f strikes and disputes some with violence. The Rand also weakened slightly throughout 2012
So the country went into 2013 with what might be described as rumblings.  In January mining problems were joined with issues relating to the electric utility.
The mining unrest continued into February and on the back of this and a sluggish Q4 result for 2012 the rand fell further.
The BRIC summit buoyed things a little for a while though at the end of March.
Mandela’s poor health caused concern ( although he is no longer leading the country he is still a significant figurehead locally and globally)
The Quarter 1 stats were better than expected  but not enough to remove the background conditions.
May was a bad month financially – platinum output reached a 11 year low, and gold and the Rand tumbled.
By June there were further issues with Mandela’s health  and more seriously for the future of the country the mining disputes worsened.. By mid July there were even difficulties within the ANC
August continued to be tricky as emerging market problems elsewhere caused further Rand falls . However there was some good news as growth picked up a little.
Although Mandela was released from hospital at the beginning of September, more mining strikes were accompanied by car industry strikes and further falls in growth. But probably more noteworthy was the creation of a new party the EFF in mid October.
While these concerns aren’t going away the remainder of the year looks to be relatively uneventful however.
January 2014 is characterised by mild inertia but being the summer months it is not too important.
February and march are likely to see a return to the strikes and other labour issues, possibly escalating.
There might be some support for action but there is no suggestion that much can be achieved at this time.
 In the period April to June, we will see the beginning of a slow and insidious change in the country which will last for all of the period under review. However at this point there is mostly support for change, government and any social programmes. At times the efforts to improve conditions are even a little too clumsy though. But I don’t see the elections leading to a change of government at this stage. The support on balance overrides a brief divergence between people and government.
A return to strikes and other mining difficulties is likely in July and August but there is enough momentum in the leadership to get through the uncertainties of this period. However it is worth considering whether the more obvious manifestation of the energy that creates the strikes may be mirrored by closet activities which could undermine the government in the longer terms
With no let up in the feeling of unrest into October it is most surprising that there is not more direct conflict with the leadership but this does not seem to be the case yet. In fact there is a brief phase of optimism in October.
However the focus on strikes etc dissipates by the end of the year when it turns to a wider emphasis on the people of the nation as a whole, possibly in terms of looking back at the difficulties of the apartheid history while looking forward to the future. There is however a risk that there will be efforts to clampdown on too much vocal dissent at this time – there are echoes of 1985.
In early 2015 the dominant underlying theme in the eyes of the world is the one that characterised 2014 too. But the period is again one of opportunity.
The theme becomes clearer by March – although clearer is perhaps not the best adjective as there is an indication that matters may be shrouded in mist and perhaps deception, although a similar configuration in 1932-3 led to a change in the country’s logo. Other possibilities include issues relating to water and the issue of mass unionised activity is also possible. 2014 will have given us an indication of how this will play out.
There is, however, a noticeable shift around April, perhaps the rise of a different style of or aims from leadership ( the last such change was around 1991).
The period from April to august looks to be very interesting. The themes of March are accompanied now by more action – by pressure for more rights and the need of the leadership to adjust their position. There may be attempts to restrict communications.
But July and August are better months when it is possible to make progress and to find common ground for co-operation.
 September is a different matter. Feelings run high, and the issues are magnified out of proportion. If the picture has immerged of water implications in this period this could be a tsunami. But more likely it will have political and economic implications. We are after all in 2015 a year that is cropping up with increasing regularity when it comes to economic, market  and currency affairs.
October and November are mixed months. There are still issues of rights to be addressed but there is a strong spirit carrying the government. However at the same time there is a difficult time to face relating to leadership, perhaps relating to previous leaders such as Mandela or to issues which the wider world considers South Africa needs to do better.
The last month of the year is however unquestionably positive.
In January to April of 2016 the country still have the motivation and momentum to grow and improve but there is also a return to some of the concerns of 2015. There are likely to be financial challenges and imbalances both in terms of the overall economic position and the challenges faced by the government in terms of the wealth and poverty of relative groups some of which might be quite vocal at this time.
Because there is a feeling that communications are not as straightforward as they should be, there are some unsettling events between May and June and some challenges possibly relating to  relations with other nations. However the mood of the people is relatively good  and this is reflected in the optimism of the government.
By the next 2 months have more in common with the first 4 months. The issue of financial imbalances and the relative rights of different groups again poses problems for the leadership. And this is compounded by the continued issues with partner nations. There is an excess of feeling  amongst the population but it is not easy to harness constructively  ( given the  likely difficulties with other nations another possibility is that there is a refugee issue) .
By October there is major emphasis on communication, education, exchange and connections. This seems like a positive step.
Certainly relations between people and government benefit in surprising ways in the last two months- the effect is almost over idealistic in nature.  The period ends with much optimism – however it remains to be seen how much of this might be misplaced.

Saudi Arabia 2013-16

More art on money and its themes from Saudi - and proof that Arabic countries too can produce stunning modern art as well as traditional
Readers will recall that my forecasts for Saudi Arabia from 2008-12 were remarkably brief. This was an indication that not a great deal would happen within the country itself.
 Obviously 2013 has almost passed and not much of note can be said to have occurred this year either. But now we get to see whether the same is true for the years 2014-16. The signs are that things are going to get a bit more exciting, although not immediately and to start with the mood will creep up gradually.
Let’s step back to the beginning of 2013 first though.
Things still looked relatively mild despite all the middle east background issues, the country’s benefit from its oil and relations with the US  meant that  it remained insulated.
In any case it brokes little opposition at all times and the month saw decisions to drive out illegal foreign workers who violate the Kingdom’s residency and labor regulations. The move also targets illegal coverup businesses.
 The most exciting news from the country in the spring, though, was the rise in a new Sars type virus there.
The period did see some minor unrest as strikes by workers unions occurred in April, particularly in relation to rules re the international workers
In May there were disputes over passports for large numbers of migrant workers  By the end of the month there were queues of them trying to leave. There were also more worries about the SARs like virus.
 The concerns were enough for the country to issues warnings in June around visits to holy sites. More significantly Saudi also offered it support to the new Egyptian regime.
In august it was announced that Saudi had raised its alert levels in relation to the Syrian situation although this situation dissipated a little following the Us/Russia agreements. Indeed the beginnings of a short term shift occurred  at this time.
By October  the country was sharing concerns with Israel due not just to the US change of heart over Syrian  but also to its shift in its relationship with Iran. Like Israel Saudi fears losing its position of power if the international community develops a broader base of ties in the region. 
The other issue prominent at this time was that of women’s right to drive.
The end of 2013, however sees a much more benign environment, as the hassles of the year go on the backburner for a short time.
But 2014 will see the start of impetus for more changes. In the first few months there could be more issues re worker rights but more importantly is the start of a completely new situation regarding the position of women , something that is a change not seen in the 100+ years of this incarnation of the country. Of course it will take time to be fully realised- but this marks a key shift.
April and May are mixed months, no doubt with the threats of the broader regions becoming more important again, not to mention refocus on the US relations.
June and July might in fact see some internal power struggles- not a usual situation for the country. Of course the king is old so perhaps it is less about power issues and more that he will be unwell at this time.
In August issues turn more to the challenges of the broader international environment again.
But in September they revert to consideration of internal leadership matters.
October and November look to be very stable months, a return to the core strengths of pre-2013
December looks to be all about the women. There is no evidence of any unrest, merely a change in support levels– which is welcomes by some, less so by others. 
2015 starts with another big, big change in the country’s position, there is a more or less permanent weakening of the more authoritarian elements. With the issue of leadership again highlighted, one wonders whether there is a new leader at this time.
March is another breather month , where there are little new challenging conditions.
But April through to June is quite different. A return to matters pertaining to women’s position sets the theme, but it is merely a taster of some major changes to the image of the country. The good news is that there is broad support for the leadership from the population at this time.
More challenges are evident in July and August. There is a need to adjust the pace of change and there are some temporary dis-satisfactions to contend with.
There is likely to be a high prominence given to the women issue again
September sees a much less stable environment, there is a risk of the leadership throwing the baby out with the bathwater in its haste to address security and image issues. The people start to be more split on the direction things are moving.
The last quarter of the year, however, is the one that brings everything together and sets the tone for 2016. The position is not wholly bad – indeed there are some real opportunities now. But expect all of the following to be important: energy and oil prices ( given the forecasts for the US that year this is not surprising anyway), women’s position, internal leadership and by the end of the year we can expect some matters pertaining to re- securing international ties  and keeping control internally
The themes of 2016 are continuations of 2015.
 The phase is one of adjustment as new power ( both in terms of physical energy and leadership) bases must be established. There are wealth effects to this too, which will come to bear later. A lot of balancing between hard-line approaches and openness is necessary during this time. Another theme inevitably is that of faith issues which may be  weakening the path forward.
Expect yet another step into new territory from May, when the country is likely to become more communications focussed and more inclined towards trade and exchange. However this is not without some attempts at controlling the ability of the people to choose.
As  a result there may be some surprising challenges to the monarchy position. A lot of adjustment is needed to ensure the continuation of the power base.
July sees no real change in these themes, with more unsettled leadership conditions
August and September see a reprieve though and the ability to make all round progress. The matter of belief systems although becomes a themes which lasts throughout the second half of the year.
October is similarly a month conducive to harnessing power more constructively – there is consolidation of the new leadership as well as the benefits of financial power.
But November is more tricky again. There are two clearly contrasting elements – one which is holding back the desires of the population and one which supports them. It is hard for the leadership to reconcile these two but there is a definite opportunity to make dramatic progress  in reconciling them now.
2016 ends with the focus being on the people rather than the leaders. There is a huge impetus for change, although there are some major restrictions that effect anything that is too radical at least at this stage. What is clear is that under the surface the adjustments are significant

Israel 2013-16

A lovely example of money themed art from Israel
My original interest in Israel was in its relationship with Iran. However my 2008-2012 analysis demonstrated that other relationships ( with Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey etc.) were also significant. Subsequently Syria has become a key focus for all middle east activity so this must also be kept in mind with the forecasts. As a result, it is almost impossible to predict the direction of any activity by Israel without reference to all its neighbours. I am sticking just to Iran at present but will consider more in 2014.
As I write this, we have reached November, so a little late for any 2013 forecasts to be relevant, but we will still go back to the beginning of the year for completeness.
The elections in January saw Netanyahu’s Likud  leading a coalition government.
Otherwise  it was a mixed month ending with an air strike on the Syrian borders.
February was a quieter month with the new cabinet not being installed until March.
There is more evidence of events in April and May, and indeed there was a small rocket attack from Egyptian soil and more significantly  there were more alleged air strikes on Syrian based targets. However the evidence seems to suggest some  uncertainties about this type of event, so we can’t necessarily be sure what the full story is.
This also ties with pressures to restart the regions peace talks. So the mood shifted by May with more attempts to find some common ground with Palestine. On the other hand there were internal protests against government spending cuts,
June was a less eventful month, although there is still evidence of behind the scenes activity. There were some clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers mid month but nothing out of the ordinary. Indeed the most significant event of the month was probably the change of bank governor. In July events in Egypt made Israel’s position more delicate while on the other hand there was more promise of peace talks by the end of the month. In August Israel released some long standing Palestinian prisoners but on the other hand there were suggestions that Israel was contributing to Egyptian instability and Israel launched a rocket attack on Lebanon, there were further Syria border tensions and by the end of the month Palestine had cancelled the planned talks. It did not look like much progress was being made anywhere really.
 Although September and October were less eventful months, there must have been some concerns for Israel, the slight melting of the ice between US and Iran was accompanied by the US/Russian accord on Syria’s chemical weapons.  As Israel survives on its surrounding threats any lessening of them can’t be good news for it.
So it can’t be of any surprise that November started with another alleged Israeli airstrike on weapons shipments in Syria and attacks in Gaza. The coming months look challenging for the country as it is prevented from making much headway with its strategies. There may also be more government spending restrictions affecting the economy.
The first four months of 2014 are mixed. The long terms problems, of course, remain but there is a need to adapt to the new environment that creates confusion and misinformation. Economically inflation or too much liquidity is possible and politically some big deceptions.
As a result there are definite signs that there will be opposition and challenges for the leadership. On the other hand there are more talks of peace-making.
There is little new in May and June, although the long term political and economic issues are more pressing for the population at this time, suggesting austerity and other threats.
But the government is better starred – quite noticeably so at this time.
As a result early August might see some sign of aggression by the country capitalising on this recent internal goodwill.
 September is a month where there is an excess of power being unleashed. This looks to be dangerous. Although it is not possible to predict the source of this without looking at the other nations too, the balance suggests that it is Israel that will be harnessing the darker forces.
However, the outcome looks to be difficult for the leadership in October– suggesting perhaps that they have overplayed their hand.
The situation appears to calm down them in the next month or so, with those ubiquitous promises of co-operation again.
The last month of the year is more mixed. But there is no evidence that the situation is resolved, merely that it is on hold for a while. The government looks to have more solid support again and there is some restriction on use of force.
While 2015 starts with the same background issues to contend with (suggesting the continued need to adapt the country’s position to reflect the changing global political landscape and quite likely the economic one too), there is also a more favourable position during the first two months of the year. However a return to the conditions of the previous October in March 2015 suggests that the country might be using those positive conditions to muster up its energies for another show of might by the end of the first quarter.
The situation in April and May is therefore tricky. It is possible that there may be global political pushback  against any actions and the effect seems at least temporarily to create some difficulties for the Israeli people. 
While there is no let up in the long term agenda in the next three months,  at least there is a more moderate picture. And this improves the relationship between people and government again.
In July there is a rare opportunity to make progress, but there is a risk that this is harnessed to launch attacks on an enemy. It is worth bearing in mind that it is not the success of such events that counts but the long term impact which might not be so good. Much better to use the energy to grow economically and cooperate politically which is a possibility now.
Whatever the outcome August will see a key shift in the mood of the population. There is potential for a useful communications campaign and in September for successful negotiations to take place.
The last three months are more mixed again. There may be some surprises and though initially these are mostly pleasant, there is also a suggestion that once again relationships between the leadership and people are strained.
The end of the year sees a tricky position where there may be some attempts to restrict or shut down some information or communication.
As 2016 begins, we see the picture beginning to shift slightly. At a guess this is the result of events elsewhere. It makes the events more tangible and  concrete but less insidious. There are strong influences at play in the first two months and a likelihood of some difficult circumstances. There is also a continued focus on wider communications matters – once again by March there is a high chance of them not being entirely straightforward.
The leadership is favoured during these months and could go overboard with initiatives. But the changing picture from the perspective of the population that started in August gives them a further opportunity to make additional progress.

In April to May, another stage in a long 30 year shift takes place and the more concrete events force a re-evaluation.
Conditions are good at this time for transformation, but there are also conducive to hardship and difficulty if that transformation is not in the right direction. In some ways though, this period is merely setting the scene for the coming 4 months .
The transition from background rumblings to more concrete developments is completed in these months. But there is no clear path, it is as if information and global conditions make it hard to know how to act. But the fact is relations with other nations are about to change radically in a way not seen since the country’s formation in 1948. Evidence of dramatic change can be seen from June. Events are magnified in July and by August become even more newsworthy culminating in the country being the focus of all attention by the end of September.
Matters calm down a little in October as the effects of the last few months are absorbed.
There is no let- up in the background themes that dominated the fisrt half of the year though.
There is evidence that the issues relating to communication with the population will be important now.
In November the impact of the last years’ events is consolidated. The net position appears to be a better one but it is not without restriction and a shadow cast over the nation.
2017 promises to see how this will affect the mood of the people