Perspectives Blog

Interest rates in a highly indebted economy

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | October 13, 2014

In a highly indebted economy, there is no fixed cap on the level of interest rates. Any increase in interest rates must be consistent with tolerable debt service ratios, the existing stock of debt and private sector savings. It’s in this context where Fed officials’ delicate approach to the exit process looks most understandable. The deleveraging constraint Last week the Federal Reserve reported that U.S. households’ mortgage debt service rati…

Half-time report on the U.S. consumer

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | July 28, 2014

U.S. consumers have taken a more cautious attitude toward debt and been more selective about using it for discretionary purchases. With consumers using credit cards less and using debit cards much more, the supports for higher discretionary spending are keyed off income and wages and also employment. With low debt use and income growth holding back consumption and demand, households will require stronger job growth and real wage gains to accele…

ECB asset purchases — Bazooka or damp squib?

Martin Harvey, Fund Manager, Threadneedle International Ltd | September 22, 2014

With inflation expectations declining to the levels that preceded the recent shift in policy, should the ECB and the financial markets be worried? In our view, the ECB probably won’t be wholly impressed by the reaction of inflation expectations to recently announced measures, and will be keeping a close eye on favored measures. We believe that we would need to see a further significant deterioration in growth and inflation expectations to kick…

Global market mid-year outlook

Mark Burgess, Chief Investment Officer, Threadneedle Investments | June 16, 2014

Overall macroeconomic picture in U.S. should push bond yields higher, particularly if the Fed stops its QE program later this year. We remain positive on emerging market debt while maintaining a bias against emerging market equities. Overall equity markets have been strong and current index levels suggest that investors still have confidence in the outlook for profits. Global equities and global bonds made progress in May with the former outpa…

A less certain world favors high-quality stocks

Philip Dicken, Head of European Equities, Threadneedle International Ltd | October 6, 2014

Current sentiment indicators do not suggest that Europe is heading back towards recession, though GDP growth will remain subdued. If Q3 sees a rebound, full QE may be unlikely this year, but any further weakness will increase the pressure on the ECB to act. In a less certain growth environment, we believe stocks that are able to deliver earnings growth will command a justifiable premium. Recap: excessive optimism at the start of 2014 As 2014 b…

Three reasons why REITs can continue to rally

Arthur Hurley, CFA, Senior Portfolio Manager | May 19, 2014

REITs have produced attractive returns YTD being up 13.60% through April (up 16% as of May 12) Fundamentals remain solid, demand for commercial real estate remains strong and companies continue to increase dividends. We remain positive on REITs given the relative safety of their income stream and continued prospects for growth. The REIT market shook off the cold of the “polar vortex” with both solid share price performance and continued positi…

Inflation consternation

Martin Harvey, Fund Manager, Threadneedle International Ltd | November 5, 2013

An inflation slowdown in the Eurozone has prompted calls for central bank action, as reduced liquidity coupled with euro strength threatens the recovery. The expectation of imminent easing by the ECB should assert downside pressure on yields, and lead Bunds to outperform other markets. It is uncertain whether the ECB will act this week; we think any intervention is likely to be verbal, at least at first. October inflation in the eurozone slowe…