Recession risks revealed

Recession risks revealed There’s been a lot of talk about a slowdown in Australia, including talk of a recession. That talk intensified this week after December quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figures showed growth remained very weak in the December quarter. The December quarter figures show GDP grew just 0.2 per cent and dragging annual growth in 2018 down to 2.3 per cent. Those numbers were below market expectations and below the Reserve Bank of …

Australia slides into a “per capita recession”

Australia slides into a “per capita recession” Key points Australian growth slowed even more in the December quarter. Growth may bounce back a bit this year, but the housing downturn will likely constrain it to around 2- 2.5%.   As a result, unemployment is likely to drift up and wages growth and inflation remain lower for longer.   The RBA is on track to cut rates this year and the housing downturn will likely see …

Five charts and a table that are critical to watch regarding the global economy and markets this year

Five charts and a table that are critical to watch regarding the global economy and markets this year Key points After a strong rebound since December share markets are at risk of a short-term pull back. However, despite this we see this year as being a decent year for share market returns.   Five key global charts to watch as to whether this will be the case are: global business conditions PMIs; global inflation; the …

2019 – a list of lists regarding the macro investment outlook

2019 – a list of lists regarding the macro investment outlook Key points Despite continued volatility, 2019 is likely to be better for diversified investors than 2018 was.   Recession is unlikely and so too is a long and deep bear market in shares.   Watch the US trade war, the Fed, global business conditions indicators, Chinese growth, politics and the Sydney and Melbourne property markets. Introduction 2017 was a great year for well diversified …

Market correction or market downturn?

Market correction or market downturn? It’s understandable that the recent sharp sell-off on financial markets has left investors feeling particularly nervous. The main concern has been the US Federal Reserve’s shift in monetary policy from low rates and printing money to rising rates and the withdrawal of that printing policy. But there’s also a lengthy worry list of issues that we hear continuously: the US trade conflict with China, issues around the leadership of President …

The US economy – does the flattening yield curve indicate recession is imminent?

The US economy – does the flattening yield curve indicate recession is imminent? Key points If you are worried about a major bear market, the US economy is the key to watch. While traditional measures of the US yield curve have flattened sending warning signs about future growth, it has given false signals in the past, is still positive and other versions of the yield curve point to rising growth. Moreover, apart from very low …

Share market volatility – Trump and trade war risks

Share market volatility – Trump and trade war risks Key points Worries about the Fed, trade wars (the risk of which has been significantly exaggerated) and President Trump generally have increased the risk around the global outlook but are unlikely to drive a major bear market. The key issue is whether the US is about to enter a recession and our assessment remains that a US recession is not imminent. The key for investors is …

Where are we in the unlisted commercial property cycle?

Where are we in the unlisted commercial property cycle? Key points Australian unlisted commercial property returns have been very strong this decade thanks largely to the “search for attractive yield” by investors. This return driver is expected to start to fade but rising rents, particularly in the south-east office markets, will provide an offset keeping returns solid for now. Commercial property yields still offer a strong premium relative to bonds suggesting we are a long …

The “gradually” maturing investment cycle – what is the risk of a US recession?

The “gradually” maturing investment cycle – what is the risk of a US recession? Key points With inflationary pressures starting to rise in the US the global investment cycle is starting to get more mature. This is likely to mean a further rise in bond yields and more share market volatility. However, there is still little sign of the sort of excesses that precede economic downturns, profit slumps and major bear markets suggesting that we …

Australian’s love affair with debt – how big is the risk?

Australian’s love affair with debt – how big is the risk? Key points Household debt levels in Australia are high compared to other countries and still rising. The rise is not as bad as it looks because its been matched by rising wealth and debt servicing problems are low. However, this could change as interest rates rise and if home prices fall sharply. The trigger for major problems remains hard to see but its worth …