In the last few weeks of 2007 many commentators were talking of the risks for the economy in 2008. But the Economists first leader of 2008 has changed the language and writes the sub-heading "America's economy will be weak in 2008". The Economist, has moved the debate on from whether or not there will be problems in the Western economies, to how bad the problems will be.
In another leader, the Economist highlights the increase in the price of oil, recently breaking through the US$100 a barrel level, with oil costing five times more than it did in 2002.
I fear that the market research industry is reacting too slowly to this change. I predict that the 'real' value of US clients' spending will fall, I suspect that consumer markets will start to react to credit problems, and that a growing number of research companies will hit difficulties.