bear market

After two years of a weak economy, the domestic scene is set for a few changes and surprises as 2023 unfolds. There’s a mixture of positive and negative news at hand. Last year’s double-digit inflation rate looks to be abating just a bit and could turn down even further before 2024 arrives. That would be a major improvement amid generally negative financial and economic headlines. For the thousands of working adults and young adults who want to earn college or graduate degrees, this year could be an ideal time to leave the workforce, take advantage of available loan programs, and bolster the strength of their resumes. If a recession arrives within the first or second half of 2023, college students will be effectively shielded from its effects as they hunker down and aim for graduation day.

The cryptocurrency sector took a major hit in the final months of 2022, so the near-term performance of that highly volatile market could reveal much about the long-term viability of digital currencies that are not issued by national governments. In the securities markets, which are currently suffering one of the harshest bearish trends in recent memory, bargain hunters are beginning to swoop in and buy blue-chip shares at historically low prices. Investors, traders, college students, workers, and people currently seeking work should review the following news developments to position themselves for maximum financial and career success during the rest of the year.

Student Loan Situation Improving for Many

Another potential area of improvement for the new year is related to the competitive student loan market. With so many high school grads and mid-career adults choosing to tackle four-year degree programs, resources like Navient Marketplace have been busier than ever. The most effective way for prospective students to secure the best rates and terms on education loans is to peruse online marketplaces where all the high-quality lenders and providers display their current rates. That arrangement makes it easy for borrowers to make side-by-side comparisons of loans to see which ones are the most advantageous for their situations. In an uncertain economy, the smartest path to long-term prosperity can include educational options like finishing college, earning a graduate degree, or beginning a four-year program.

Inflation Coming Down in Early 2023

One of the few bright spots in recent months, the domestic inflation rate dipped to the 6% range in January and appears headed for even lower levels by mid-summer. While nothing about inflation is ever a certainty, it is possible that the last rounds of Federal Reserve Bank interest hikes served a healthy purpose. Since July of last year, when the benchmark inflation rate hit 9%, the metric has been declining steadily. If the current downward trajectory continues, there’s a solid chance that the numeric could fall to the 2% range by July. Whether such an improvement would entice the Fed to decrease interest rates is another question. The news about domestic inflationary pressure is that the situation is improving. The length and amount of that improvement is anyone’s guess.

Possible Recession Could Appear Before Year’s End

Job markets in nearly every industry could feel the effects of a 2023 recession. As inflation slows and hiring remains stagnant, the year could be an ideal time for workers to hold onto their jobs and learn new skills on the side. Many people in faltering economies decide to choose new career paths, start their own businesses, or earn formal degrees and certificates. As the prospect of a full-blown recession becomes more likely with each passing month of Q1, millions are making contingency plans to cover themselves in the event of being fired or laid off. A few of the tactics include cutting personal expenses, increasing savings, taking on second jobs, selling unnecessary assets, and more.

Crypto Market Battling Back

Even with Gen Y and Z investors changing the economic landscape, the cryptocurrency sector had one of its worst years ever in 2022, and the question is whether the most volatile of all investment segments can claw its way back up the ladder over the following 12 months. Much like the stock market but with an inherently more volatile behavior pattern, the leading cryptos tumbled in value after a major scandal last year and amid a widespread lack of confidence in the security of the major trading platforms.

However, top players bitcoin and ethereum hung on and have traded sideways through the early part of this year’s first quarter. Ethereum, bitcoin’s main competitor, suffered from the beginning of last year and then began to recover in July, trading between the $1,000 and $2,000 range since that time. As the two coins continue to fight for supremacy in a changing sector, it’s possible they could both recover lost ground as 2024 approaches. November’s FTX scandal rattled the crypto universe, but after a few months passed, the sector’s resilience surprised many investors, who have returned to pick up bargains and bolster values across the board.