- Although the pace of growth is slowing, global economic expansion still has further to run, especially while the US continues to benefit from the recent fiscal stimulus package.
- Tighter dollar liquidity, a stronger dollar and protectionism should continue to be the key themes driving sentiment in the coming quarter.
- All eyes will be on the Fed for clues about the speed and size of US monetary tightening. The Fed may have a tough choice to make next year if its current path of a hike each quarter becomes too much for the US economy or the rest of the world to handle.
- The magnitude of the slowdown in China will also be crucial for global markets in the next few months. The policy response so far has been small and larger measures to stimulate growth seem at odds with the desire to deleverage.
- The difficulties of emerging markets look set to continue for the time being.
Bart Grenier, Global Head of Asset Management
How much further can this run? Ten years after the global financial crisis, almost a decade of economic growth alongside an unprecedented market rally has left that question consuming investors.
The stresses in some emerging market countries this summer have revived memories of previous crisis, with analysts seizing on differences and similarities.
As we consider how the rest of 2018 will play out, our main focus is on the growth and policy trajectories of the US and China. The US Federal Reserve is gradually normalising policy to prevent the economy from overheating after years of unconventional easing, with fiscal stimulus bringing additional challenges. At the same time, Chinese policymakers are looking to stop their economy slowing down after largely exhausting their fiscal and monetary arsenal – and all this without compromising reform momentum. To add to the uncertainty, the trade war with the US shows no sign of easing. The global economy is charting new territory.
We do not believe the end of this global economic expansion is imminent but it is certainly the case that this cycle is mature. And at this stage of the cycle investor resilience will continue to be tested, not just within the more vulnerable emerging markets, but also within some asset classes and sectors. While the global backdrop remains moderately positive for risky assets – and our investment views broadly reflect this stance - further bouts of market volatility are likely as we approach the end of 2018.
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