What lies ahead in 2020? Will the US economy tip into recession or accelerate? Will Brexit make or break the UK and its erstwhile partners in Europe?
In Asia, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is starting a new cycle and demand for tech products is reinvigorating Korea and Taiwan. But what will happen in China and India, where the situation feels less certain?
Like Janus, China stands at the door of the year with two faces. One looks back to accumulated debt coming home to roost in 2020, with Bloomberg estimating debt repayments have reached 43% of GDP.
The as yet unknown impact of the coronavirus, Taiwan's election and the fragile US trade truce further complicate the outlook.
Meanwhile, the other face smiles, anticipating an increasing string of government divestments to refill fiscal coffers. With the ‘National Team' of government-directed traders in place, China can be sure of placing whatever it wants in the stock market, with ETFs unable to demur.
Might this create a stockmarket boom, even as the nation's older manufacturing sector withers away, like that of 1980s Britain? Perhaps.
Services and electronics remain strong, which helps Korea and Taiwan. Trade Deal Part 1 with the US also buys room to breathe, but Chinese markets will walk a tightrope all year.
An ASEAN renaissance is starting, underpinned by the gradual mobilisation of the ASEAN Economic Community, which began in 2015.
A giant new trade treaty, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), is also on the verge of being signed. Covering all Asia except India, RCEP links over two billion people, generating 37% of global GDP.
Companies are leaving China because of expensive labour, a slowing economy and tight surveillance. ASEAN looks attractive, with cheaper labour, lower tariffs and improving movement of goods and people.
Several ASEAN countries had a hiatus of confidence over the past three years, caused by elections, the death of Thailand's king and trade wars, but this all seems to be fading now.
Each country is different: Thailand is picking up, but still gloomy; Malaysia accelerating, but when I visited in November, there was a level of confidence in Indonesia I have not felt since 2006.
ASEAN is rising.
Sally Macdonald is head of Asian equities at Marlborough Fund Managers
• ASEAN is rising, with increasing confidence and a new cycle beginning
• Strong demand for technology products is benefiting Korea and Taiwan
• China's repayment burden is estimated to be 43% of GDP
• China's older manufacturing sector is declining