There are lots of economic and market forecasts at this time of the year. Many are easily accessed on the internet.
Does anyone care about these forecasts? Or do we place too much emphasis on these forecast? These topics are covered in a recent Institutional Investor article. Some good points are made.
The current market volatility is likely to be front of mind presently for many investors. Others may be seeing it as an opportunity. What ever your view of 2019, a longer term perspective should always be maintained.
Either way, it has been a tough year to make money .
Most likely, your view of the current market volatility is closely tied to your forecast for 2019.
On this note, there are number of reasons to be “relaxed” about the current market volatility as outlined in the recent Think Advisor article.
Why should we be relaxed about the current bout of volatility? The most pertinent reasons from the article are as follows:
The US economy is still strong
US Economic growth accelerated in 2018 while the rest of world slowed. Global growth is expected to moderate in 2019 from the current pace in 2018.
Albeit, the US economy is still strong with unemployment at its lowest level since 1969, consumer and business confidence remains healthy, forward looking indicators are supportive of ongoing economic growth.
Although growth is slowing in Europe and China the environment remains supportive of ongoing economic expansion.
Global sharemarkets appear to have already adjusted for a more moderate level of global economic growth in 2019.
Stock Fundamentals are okay
Global corporate earnings are forecast grow over the next twelve months, supported by the economic backdrop outlined above.
As alluded to above, value has appeared in many global markets given recent declines.
Yield curve inversion
Markets are pre-occupied with the possibility of a US inverted yield curve. This appears overdone. Yield curve Inversion is when the yield (rate of interest) is lower on longer dated fixed interest securities compared to shorter dated securities. Under normal circumstance longer dated securities have a higher yield than shorter dated securities.
As highlighted previously an inverted yield curve is a necessary but not sufficient pre-condition to recession. Not every yield curve inversion is followed by a recession .
There is also a considerable time lag between yield curve inversion and economic recession. A period of time in which sharemarkets have on average performed strongly.
Lastly, the traditional measure of yield curve inversion, 3 month yield vs 10 year yield, is not inverted!
Of the reasons provided in the article, the above are the most relevant and worthy of taking note of.
Nevertheless, global trade is a key source of the current market volatility and is likely to remain so for sometime. Likewise it may take time for markets to gain comfort that global economic growth has stabilised at a lower rate of expansion. Therefore, continued market volatility is likely.
Alternatively, a pause in the US Federal Reserve raising short term interest rates would also likely provide a boost to global sharemarkets.
PIMCO, as recently reported, highlight that the risk of a recession in the US has climbed in 2019.
This prediction is made in the context that the US is nearing a decade long period of economic expansion, the longest period in its history without experiencing an economic recession (defined as two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth).
PIMCO note “The probability of a U.S. recession over the next 12 months has risen to about 30 percent recently and is thus higher than at any point in this nine-year-old expansion, Even so, the models are flashing orange rather than red.”
“The last few months have given us a sense of the types of risks that are out there, that both the economy and markets are going to face in 2019,” ….. “At a minimum, like we have seen this year, expect ongoing volatility and that’s true across all segments of the financial markets.”
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