Personal finances in 2017

There is a lot of anticipation-and tension- for 2017 when it comes to personal finances. This year was choppy for everyone. Analysts predict that 2017 could be a better year.

Oil everywhere

If you love cars, then 2017 will be a good year- but not better than 2016. Huge glut in worldwide oil supplies has pushed down prices during the last couple of years. It means that as a consumer, you pay much less when it comes to refueling your car. However, things could change. This is due to the fact that Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC as the group is popularly known has consented to slash production starting January. This is expected to restore the market stability. Oil production across the world will certainly slow down- but not much. Prices may go north by 30 cents per gallon.

Job market

According to Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics, the job market in the coming year will be much better than 2016. There will be lots of jobs and less layoff. This boom would be across all pay scales. Since the economy has got better, the employed can expect an increase in pay. These would be excellent and much above the inflation rate. The only blip in the radar, as per Zandi, is the commodity related and energy industries. Negativity may affect manufacturing which are exposed to the vagaries of global trade. Things could turn choppy for brick and mortar retailing and print media as well.

Zandi, however, warns that even if employment prospects appear better, jobs could look much different after you get them. Automation is changing job profiles like never before. Benefits packages may also be tempered. This will be most noticeable in the technology industry where it is normal to have fun perks. Employers will provide perks that gives more benefits for same amount of money spent. He predicts that employers will take action to level gender pay gap. This is the direct consequence of pay transparency and data availability.

Interest rates

When it comes to interest rates, the Federal Reserve has already upped the key interest rate by a little this month. It has indicated that rates will increase three more times in the coming year (2017). However, this raise does not mean any impending doom. It means that credit card use will be subjected to higher rates. Interest rates will also go up for adjustable rate mortgages and equity loans. It is a good idea to protect oneself from the cruelty of variable rate debts.

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