Dec 26, 2017 | 11:57 GMT
2018 Annual Forecast

Though the threat of war on the Korean Peninsula can't be ruled out, the United States will probably try to avoid a costly preventive strike against the North's nuclear weapons program that would plunge the global economy back into recession.

Reckoning With North Korea: Though the threat of war on the Korean Peninsula can't be ruled out, the United States will probably try to avoid a costly preventive strike against the North's nuclear weapons program that would plunge the global economy back into recession. Instead, Pyongyang's demonstration of a viable nuclear deterrent next year will spawn a new and more unstable era of containment. 

Reckoning With:〈手強い相手・問題など〉に対処する
ruled out:排除する
viable:〈計画などが〉実現[実行]可能な; 成功の見込める
nuclear deterrent:核抑止力

Hedging All Around: Deepening collaboration between China and Russia will pose a strategic threat to the United States, spurring Washington to try to check the budding partnership by reinforcing its own allies in the Eurasian borderlands. The fluidity of alignments among great powers will increasingly define the international system as Moscow and Beijing balance against each other, just as many U.S. allies hedge their relationships with Washington. 

Hedging:損失を防ぐ策をとる 〜を生け垣で囲う
all around:辺り一帯[一面]に、至る所に、四方(八方)に 全体的に、あらゆる点で
budding:始まったばかりの〈関係など〉; 芽生え始めた
fluidity:流動性, 流動的であること; しなやかさ.

Putting Trade Ties to the Test: The White House will forge ahead with an aggressive trade agenda that targets China, Mexico, South Korea and Japan. While the U.S. trade agreement with South Korea hangs by a thread, congressional and legal checks on U.S. executive power will have a better chance of keeping the North American Free Trade Agreement intact. The United States' increasing unilateralism in trade will expose the weaknesses of the World Trade Organization, but it won't shatter the bloc or trigger a trade war.

hangs: hang by a thread 危険にさらされて[ひんして]いる、危機一髪である
shatter:〈ガラスなど〉を(一瞬にして)粉々に割る[砕く], 粉砕する

Revisiting Iran: North Korea's nuclear weapons achievements will fuel a hard-line U.S. policy toward Iran, jeopardizing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. As the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel close ranks against Iran, proxy battles across the Middle East will intensify. But Iran won't walk away from its nuclear deal with the West. Russia will nevertheless exploit the tension mounting between Washington and Tehran, as well as its advantage on the Syrian battlefield, to expand its influence in the Middle East at the United States' expense. 

Managing an Oil Exit Strategy: Major oil producers hope to stay on track to rebalance the global oil market in 2018. As the expiration of their pact to limit production and draw down inventories approaches, compliance will slip among OPEC and non-OPEC participants alike. Even so, Saudi Arabia and Russia may be able to work together to counteract an expected uptick in U.S. shale output. 

Exit Strategy:軍事的もしくは経済的な損害が続く状況から損失・被害を最小限にして撤退する戦略
expiration:(期間・期限の)満了, 終結
draw down:金額・利益など〉を減じる; 〈蓄えなど〉を食いつぶす.
compliance:【規則・要請などに】従う[応じる]こと, 承諾
slip:〈人・能力などが〉衰える; 〈状況などが〉悪化する(back); 〈人気・緊張感などが〉低下する
counteract:(反作用で)〈(悪)影響・病状など〉を中和する, 阻止[防止]する, 和らげる; …に逆らう.

The Next Phase of China's Reform: Chinese President Xi Jinping will take on entrenched local interests as the central government tackles the next phase of its reform agenda: wealth redistribution. A slowing property sector and corporate debt maturities will compound financial pressures on China's northeastern rust belt in 2018, but Beijing has the tools it needs to prevent a systemic debt crisis. 

entrenched:〈意志・習慣などが〉強固な, 変わることのない
debt maturities:負債満期
compound:〈良くない物・事が〉〈問題・困難な状況など〉をさらに複雑にする, さらに悪化させる

France Finds Its Voice: France will find itself on more equal footing with Germany next year as it defends Southern European interests and debates eurozone reform. The possibility of a more Euroskeptic government emerging in Italy will send jitters through financial markets, but the country won't leave the currency zone. 

equal footing:対等な立場[地位]
jitters:神経質[過敏], そわそわ, 不安(感)

Populism Persists in Latin America: Popular frustration with the political establishment will make for a more competitive election season in three of Latin America's biggest economies: Mexico, Brazil and Colombia. Should a populist president take office in Mexico, Congress will block him from enacting any sweeping policy changes. Meanwhile, Brazil and Argentina will have a narrow window in which to implement domestic reforms and push ahead with trade talks in the Common Market of the South before political constraints start piling up against them. 

Persists:〈望ましくないこと[状態]が〉いつまでも続く, 持続する, 存続[残存]する
sweeping: sweeping changes 大改革



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