Q1 | 2021
Global Macro Outlook—a year of two halves
Working through the economic stall out
We find ourselves kicking off 2021 not so much in style, but in the middle of a stall out—the second stage of our three-phase recovery framework in which the economic rebound loses momentum and weakness seeps back in.
Indeed, we believe that the first half of 2021 will be challenging, particularly for developed markets. While we don’t expect to see a double-dip recession, when confronted by a raft of soft economic data that’s expected to come our way over the next few months, it’s likely that it could feel as if we’re heading toward one.
Thankfully, we expect this period of economic weakness is likely to be short-lived. More than likely, economic prospects will improve as efforts to roll out the various COVID-19 vaccines gather pace—a development that’ll enable the gradual return to a business-as-usual environment, setting the scene for a strong end to the year.
Defining macroeconomic features by quarter
That said, the journey back to normal isn’t likely to be linear. Different economies are likely to transition out of the recessionary environment at different times. The K-shaped nature of this recovery, where the manufacturing sector returns to growth before the services sector, will likely dictate which economies will return to growth first.
Crucially, policy support will remain ample throughout the year, both in terms of accommodative monetary policies and enhanced fiscal budgets. These sources of support should, in all likelihood, keep recessionary pressures at bay.
Against this backdrop, we present the latest edition of Global Macro Outlook, in which we identify the key macroeconomic themes we believe will shape the financial markets in the year ahead.
A widespread health crisis such as a global pandemic could cause substantial market volatility, exchange trading suspensions and closures, and affect portfolio performance. For example, the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has resulted in significant disruptions to global business activity. The impact of a health crisis and other epidemics and pandemics that may arise in the future, could affect the global economy in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen at the present time. A health crisis may exacerbate other preexisting political, social, and economic risks. Any such impact could adversely affect the portfolio’s performance, resulting in losses to your investment
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