The faculty at the University of Alabama (UA) in the US has made predictions for the year 2009.
In the 28th edition of "Educated Guesses," the predictions for 2009 include: -
Americans to cope with recession in both health and unhealthy ways: Anxiety and depression will threaten Americans' mental health in 2009 as the recession progresses. While some people might take to drugs or alcohol, other may actually step back and readjust their lives.
American retailing picture to be dim in 2009: The retailing picture of the US will not improve through most of 2009.
First 100 days will be key to Obama presidency: Look for President Obama to pursue his electoral mandate to fix the economy and health care in 2009 in a historic moment nearly comparable to the beginning of the Roosevelt administration in 1933.
Bailout or not, U.S. auto industry will change in 2009: Whether or not the federal government bails out the ailing auto industry, substantial changes in the American auto industry can be expected next year.
Oil prices will stay low for 2009: After a year in which oil prices fluctuated from record highs to the lowest prices in the last five years, a UA engineering professor predicts that oil prices will remain low during 2009, thanks to the struggling economy.
U.S. to pull out of Iraq, increase troops in Afghanistan: The incoming Obama administration will make good on pledges regarding the ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2009 even as those nations pose huge challenges.
Obama's first year to bring open, frank dialogue about racial and ethnic diversity: An increase in open and frank dialogue about racial and ethnic diversity will begin as Barack Obama's presidential administration gets underway in the coming year.
Weather to offer few surprises: 2009 will follow the weather pattern set by the current year - a pattern of normalcy.
Multi-platform books, fantasy to hold kids' attention: Interactive books that use Web pages and CDs to help tell their stories and keep kids guessing will continue to hold children's and young adults' attention in 2009.
Style shifts direction in 2009: More figure-flattering cuts, belts and dresses that emphasize the waist will replace bulky tops as the hottest styles in 2009 as fashion trends move away from the focus on volume of the last few seasons.