Economic Forecast for 2016

It's no surprise investors are feeling a little shaky.

"You've got the Chinese stock market which is doing what it did four or five months ago. It’s taking a dive as some investors there are trying to recuperate some of their investment. As a result, the Chinese government has suspended trading which gets everybody nervous," said John Connaughton, Economics Professor at UNC Charlotte.

Not only that, but Connaughton says the Middle East and North Korea are adding fuel to the fire.

“There are increased tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia. There have been fires at each other's embassies and they've broken off diplomatic relations. More recently, the North Koreans have been testing a hydrogen bomb.”

But Connaughton says investor instability doesn't have a huge impact unless you sell when stocks are low. And that’s big no-no in economics.

"You've lost a significant percentage of the value of your assets if you had stocks or if a portion of your 401K was invested in stocks. You never lost anything you actually had. You only lose if you sell at the low point."

Here at home in the Charlotte area, we're seeing hundreds of layoffs.

This Friday, nearly one thousand people are being let go in Rowan County at Daimler Trucks of America.

Starting in February, D.A.L Global Services - a company that hires contractors at the airport -  will be letting just over 50 people go.

Widening the lens a bit, Macy's announced its cutting close to 5-thousand positions.

And Target says it will close 13 stores by the end of January.

Ok, let's take a breath. What do all these layoffs mean for the U.S. economy?

"When you look at hiring versus firing, the mismatch is really more hiring than firing. The proof of that is when the Friday jobs number comes out. It's all the new hires minus all the fires. That's going to be 200-thousand positions higher in December than in November."

A little bit of good news to temper our economic outlook for 2016.