Navigating the 2024 Macro-Environment

Joe Kalish, Chief Global Macro Strategist at Ned Davis Research Group, was hosted by Naji Nehme, CFA, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer at Petiole Asset Management AG, to discuss insights into the macro-environment in 2024 and the trends that will shape global markets. Below are the highlights of the webinar:

Mar 7, 2024|General- 4 min

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  • Economic indicators suggest a positive outlook for 2024 in the US. Recession indicators have sharply declined, accompanied by improvements in ISM manufacturing and services data. Both the housing and stock markets have reached new highs, while credit conditions remain favorable. Business and consumer confidence are on the rise, painting a promising picture for the US economy.

  • Questions loom over the sustainability of inflation at 2% without a recession. While central banks have managed inflation expectations, challenges persist on the supply side, notably in housing and commodities. Climate change and geopolitical uncertainties add further complexity to the inflation outlook for the next one to three years.

  • Efforts towards economic resilience come with costs, particularly in the form of rising labor expenses globally. The US stands out as the only major economy making significant progress on unit labor costs. However, global security concerns, including in areas like national defense and cyberspace, could fuel inflationary pressures and reshape global economic structures.

  • While financial stress has eased, concerns about market liquidity are growing. The decline in reserves and the unwinding of the Federal Reserve's balance sheet could impact bank lending in the near future. With US tax payments looming in April, liquidity drain could trigger a market correction, posing challenges for monetary policy easing.

  • A weak dollar poses risks to the Fed's ability to cut rates. The projected budget deficit in the US raises inflationary worries and could diminish the appetite for US debt, affecting economic stability. Meanwhile, uncertainties surrounding future fiscal policies add to the complexity of the economic landscape.

  • The outlook for the bond market remains uncertain amid fluctuating growth, inflation, and interest rate projections. Credit markets globally are at or near all-time highs, with potential opportunities in private credit despite rising defaults. While commercial real estate faces challenges, long-term investors may find opportunities in instruments like REITs.

  • Current market positioning suggests an underweight on Japan, with potential adjustments based on declining rates in advanced economies. Overweight positions in global equities and fixed income seem reasonable amid prevailing conditions. The US equities market remains favorable, while China's economic growth is supported by monetary and fiscal policies.

  • Asia, particularly countries outside of China, emerges as winners in economic resilience. India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Mexico benefit from supply chain movements, fostering tremendous growth opportunities in these regions.

  • Despite concerns over high valuations, confidence in equities remains steady, driven by companies like Nvidia. Oil supplies remain tight, with stable prices expected amid increasing demand and uncertainties surrounding electric vehicles.

  • Uncertainty persists regarding the outcome of the US election and its economic implications. Concerns over possible trade protectionism and increased defense spending under a future administration add to market uncertainties.

  • Expectations point towards lower but positive returns across asset classes. As the population ages, there's a growing demand for income assets, reshaping investment strategies amid changing market dynamics.

Watch the full webinar above.

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