A Turning Point for the Economy
In investing, as in life, it is important to learn from the past, appreciate the present and plan for the future. This is particularly true at turning points.
In the early weeks of the New Year, we do appear to be at an economic turning point. Fourth-quarter GDP and consumption deflator data, due out this week, may give the impression of continued solid growth with still strong year-over-year inflation. However, a more real-time assessment of the economy suggests a significant cooling in both, with monetary and fiscal tightening contributing to the slowdown. That being said, it should be recognized that an environment of slow growth, low inflation, low interest rates and strong profit margins is likely to re-emerge in 2024, providing support for higher asset prices. While there are too many short-term risks to justify a very aggressive strategy today, it still likely makes sense to prepare for this environment rather than trying to time market swings in what will likely be a very volatile 2023.