Perspectives Blog

Slow growth: Why is it here and will it stay?

February 24, 2014

There is no consensus on the root causes of slow growth. As economists seek explanations, the secular stagnation theory has re-emerged. Strong evidence suggests the neutral real rate has fallen. (But is it negative? We explore this question in this continuing series over the next few weeks.) By Marie Schofield, Chief Economist and Toby Nangle, Head of Multi Asset Allocation The idea that economies may be undergoing a long period of slow growth

It’s a mobile world

Dave Egan, Senior Equity Analyst | March 10, 2014

While the growth of smartphones on the high-end is decelerating, the low-end in China and the emerging markets continue to see strong growth. The outlook for communications infrastructure seems to have improved. The ‘Internet of Things’ may be more evolutionary than revolutionary for most companies. Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the industry’s annual trade show, which was held this year during the last week of February in Barcelona, Spain. As…

Income inequality, disinflation and profit growth – the role of globalization

March 10, 2014

…lly unstable and unsustainable dynamic that culminated in the global financial crisis. We postulated that the lack of willingness on the part of banks to recreate this unsustainable dynamic would deliver a drag to consumption growth in developed markets. This week we consider the degree to which income inequality is a global phenomenon. Many countries in emerging markets (EM) have high and rising levels of income inequality with attendant social…

More heat than light

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | October 3, 2013

Recent comments from the Fed have provided relatively little information about future QE tapering decisions. Officials have expressed contradictory views on several major policy concerns, including the state of the labor market. If economic growth continues over the next few months, tapering may commence in December. Following their surprising decision to maintain the current pace of quantitative easing (QE), Fed officials provided more detail…

When the QE tide recedes, focus on what is revealed

Robert McConnaughey, Director of Global Research | January 6, 2014

…e there is fierce debate on the ultimate effectiveness of monetary stimulus surging from the central banks, one cannot dispute the boost that it has given to asset prices. While we may be seeing some “green shoots” of overall growth pick-up in the developed world, the post-crisis recovery in asset values has not been primarily driven by economic or earnings growth. Instead, we have been in a high correlation environment where the rising tide lift…

What’s behind the weakness in U.S. housing?

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | March 24, 2014

Existing U.S. home sales have been weak across all regions and this weakness pre-dates this year’s tough winter. Skyrocketing home prices, the surge in interest rates, and meager income growth have hit affordability and dented demand. Housing is no longer the accelerator for economic growth that it was earlier in the cycle. While the jury is out on just how much cold weather has impacted economic activity in recent months, we should keep in mi…

China’s reform announcement

Timothy Flanagan, Associate Portfolio Manager | November 21, 2013

China has announced significant social and economic reforms. We believe the vague wording and lack of timetables in the announcement should allow for balancing policy changes against short‐term growth prospects. If fully implemented, the plans announced should move the country towards a long-term sustainable growth model. If rolled out gradually, the near‐term effects on growth should be minimal. The biggest take‐away from China’s recent Third…