Right now, Syria is an "external headwind" that's affecting oil prices and is zapping the morale of companies. But hopefully, this too shall pass into a better 2014, say Georgia State University Economic Forecasting Center's chief Nostradamus Rajeev Dhawan. As for Atlanta: The job growth will be okay, he says. But it could really take off assuming the debt ceiling issue is resolved by fall (similar to his predictions this past December). So far, real estate has been taking interest rate jumps (100 bps over the summer) in stride. If it stays moderate, it won't be a big problem. But another dramatic spike can lead to a big confidence problem, he says, which is problematic for construction and acquisition financing.