George Diebold—Getty Images/Blend Images
By Chris Matthews
December 28, 2015

Every year brings its share of economic events that take us by surprise. Few people predicted the collapse in oil prices that started in the summer of 2014, or were able to time the sharp decline in economic growth in China that started a few months ago.

That said, many of the economic trends that shape our world can be spotted ahead of time by careful observers. For instance, many pundits argued that the Federal Reserve wouldn’t be able to raise rates this year, but a close examination of the data would have enabled you to predict the Fed’s December liftoff. In 2016, new economic trends will emerge or gain steam, and shape the world we live in for the better or worse. Here are the top five:


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