Instead of employing economists to assess future trends, perhaps it might be more productive to employ a group of sociologists instead.
It was pretty easy to predict that the days of 'conspicuous consumption' were over. Just talk to people, look at what they are wearing. Even if people have money, it is not the done thing to flaunt it.
Now look at people in the shops. What are they buying? Not much. Why? People who have money to spend find that there is not really much to spend it on - there is nothing new or excitingly different. If wonderfully inventive products were to appear, the shops might be full again.
Too often, one brand looks very much like another. Most cars have a similar shape - supposedly as a result of wind tunnel tests. But who drives in a wind tunnel?
Many people bought the Renault Espace and the Land Rover Discovery because they were 'different'. My wife has just bought a new Nissan Micra because 'it looks cuddly'. A new shape produced a new customer.