Expert Zone

Straight from the Specialists

2012 – Boom or Doom?


(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

What a year 2011 has been. Except certain commodities such as gold and oil, every other asset class has been hit. With Sensex down more than 20 pct YTD, 10 year g-sec yields up by almost 1 pct and rupee down by almost 14 pct against the dollar, it has been a poor year for investors. This was caused by a bout of strong global risk aversion led by the European sovereign debt crisis, high inflation in emerging markets and consequent monetary tightening, and lack of proper policy action in India. The only salvation came from commodities such as oil (up almost 26 pct in rupee terms) and gold (up almost 38 pct in rupee terms).

Are any of these likely to continue haunting us in 2012? Or will there be a new set of problems? Is the worst already behind us? That’s the million dollar question on everybody’s mind. The irony is few of us, if at all, have the right answers. Still based on evidence available today, one can hazard a guess.

What does 2012 have in store for the investor?
There is no doubt that growth has slowed down. The poor industrial growth numbers over the last quarter and the latest second quarter real GDP growth of 6.9 pct (manufacturing growth was a mere 2.7 pct whereas mining output contracted) drive the point home.

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