Perspectives Blog

Global asset allocation outlook (as of March 2014)

Columbia Management Global Asset Allocation Team, | April 7, 2014

…first quarter rising about 5%-7%. In a complete reversal from last year’s trend, commodities also rallied in the first quarter. The U.S. economy experienced a slowdown partly attributed to weather, but also due to softness in housing and payback from a very strong inventory cycle in the second half of 2013. In addition, geopolitical fears intensified with Russia’s incursion into Ukraine and nervousness about the shadow banking system in China res…

The bean counting on second quarter GDP

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | July 25, 2013

…global growth slowdown on U.S. manufacturing and trade, The fiscal drag associated with reduced government spending courtesy of the sequester, and What may be outright inventory depletion. One added surprise has been slower housing starts, particularly in multi-family, which may dent the stellar gains in residential investment portion of GDP last quarter. All this follows the revision of a promising 2.5% Q1 GDP gain into a rather unspectacular…

More light, less tunnel

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | October 31, 2013

…markets and manufacturing orders. Unfortunately, both reports present a picture of economic activity in the third quarter that ended on a soft note well before the government shutdown. Consumer sentiment measures slipped and housing demand cooled. Next week we will see reports on industrial production and consumer spending for September giving us a fuller picture of Q3 activity. But so far, growth appears little changed from the tepid 1% to 2% p…

Fixed income outlook: From liquidity to growth

Gene Tannuzzo, CFA, Senior Portfolio Manager | July 10, 2013

…e the market is not expecting: Growth. In the U.S., we must remember that the Fed is talking about tapering QE because they believe the economy can handle it. Indeed, we agree that there are encouraging signs in both the U.S. housing and labor markets. And while the private sector economy looks good, the largest components of fiscal drag (tax increases, sequestration, etc.) are now behind us, increasing the likelihood of upside growth surprises i…

A tale of two labor markets

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | November 11, 2013

…pending) was soft, up only 1.5%, and the smallest rise in two years. Unfortunately, business spending actually pulled back, the first decline in a year, as uncertainty is still restraining spending. Residential investment and housing remains a support (up 15%) and trade contributed positively to growth as net exports advanced. The fiscal drag is also waning with a small net add from state and local purchases. Trend growth still looks near 2% base…