BEIJING — Chinese around the world will ring in the Year of the Monkey Monday, and with it will come countless questions about what lies in store for the lunar 2016.
Enter Chen Shuaifu, a noted feng shui master and longtime chairman of the China Fengshui Association, which has more than 50,000 members.
Over the years he has given his predictions to NBC News, most notably declaring that marriages and relationships would suffer in 2013 during the “Year of the Widow” and that Russian President Vladimir Putin, born in the Year of the Dragon, would do well in 2015 — the Year of the Sheep.
For the superstitious in China, the astrological divinations of a local feng shui master can be important guidance in making decisions for the coming year. For many others, the annual predictions are just for fun.
Unfortunately for anyone seeking reassurance about the worldwide economic turmoil, Chen does not have any encouraging words.
“In 2016 we will see a big slide in the world economy,” he warns. “The global economic situation will be terrible and lots of companies will be bankrupted.”
He recommends postponing important financial decisions in 2016, but warns that those looking to grow families or resolve questions of the heart shouldn’t wait any longer.
“It’s a good year for people to give birth and to look for love,” he says. “Babies born in the Year of the Monkey are regarded as very hardworking and lucky.”
Chen expects good times ahead for anyone born in the Year of the Snake (1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013); the Dragon (1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012); the Sheep (1943, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015); and Ox (1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009). Those animals "get along well with monkeys," Chen said.
He says that portends well for President Barack Obama, who was born in the Year of the Ox. He was quick to note that Chinese President Xi Jinping, born in the Year of the Snake, would also enjoy good fortune in 2016.
On the other side of the coin, Chen predicts those born in the year of the Tiger (1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010), Rabbit (1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011) and Pig (1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007) will generally not have a good year ahead.
Also predicted to have an unlucky 2016 are those born in the Year of the Dog (1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006), including Republican Presidential hopeful, Donald Trump.
“The monkey year is not good for people born in the Year of the Dog. Donald Trump will have a difficult campaign year,” says Chen, who also notes that Hilary Clinton, who is born in the Year of the Pig is expected to have good luck and has a face that “conveys strong personality and ability.”
For Trump and those born in unlucky years, Chen suggests eating more red apples and storing them at home because monkeys like fruit and the red color will bring better fortune. In a nod to the monkey’s natural forest habitat, Chen also recommends wearing more green.
NBC News’ Julia Zhou contributed to this report.