Forgeddabout it............

One of the big concerns for markets in January/February (alongside China, Oil etc) has been fears that the US - and hence the global economy - area about to enter a new recession.  This is very unlikely.  The Atlanta Fed publishes a close to realtime estimate of US GDP https://www.frbatlanta.org/cqer/research/gdpnow.aspx  Right now this is estimating Q1 GDP at 2.1% using economic data as of 26 Feb.

As well, on Friday Q4 2015 GDP was revised to 1.0%, up from 0.7%.  The consensus from market economists was for a revision down to 0.4%, which I think accurately reflects the pervasively bearish sentiment on Wall street right now.

 Yet there are plenty of positives in the US that are discounted because they don't fit the current bearish narrative.  Unemployment is at 4.9% and many industries are struggling to adequately fill vacancies.  The type of job being added now is typically medium or high wage.  Deutsche Bank estimates that since 2009, nearly 90% of jobs added are NOT low wage.  Inflation is running at 1.7%.  Consumer spending increased in January by  2.9%.  Corporate earnings pretty much stalled in 2015, but the growth in 2016 is estimated by FTSE to be around 5%.  Exclude the energy and materials industries and the rest of market earnings are looking pretty good. 

Is the market going to be more volatile? Sure, but it is not historically overpriced.  Current forward PE ratio (using current price and expected earnings over the next year) is around 15.5 for the US, 13.7 for Europe,  12.6 for Japan, and 14.6 for Developed markets in aggregate. 

In short, we don't expect a US or global recession and betting the farm on this may reflect a cognitive bias that is looking for confirmation of bad news.  

Subscribe here to be advised of future blog posts

* indicates required