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Economic data continues to weaken in Canada and many forecasters expect the economy to slip into a recession next year.

The economy has been incredibly resilient, growing at a pace that was above the historical average during the first three quarters of this year, even as policy rates reached their highest in more than two decades.

European leading Indicators declined in October for the fifth consecutive month, suggesting the threat of a looming recession.

Exports for countries such as Japan and Taiwan remained solid, and domestic consumption was healthy across many Asian economies.

Central banks in many emerging-market countries were fast to react to rising inflation following the pandemic and started tightening monetary conditions in advance of developed-market central banks.

Executive summary

While a recession has been avoided so far in 2023, the economy will likely slow through the first half of 2024 before recovering later in the year. Savings that were built up during the pandemic are being depleted, government spending is set to slow and geopolitical frictions are intense.

Stack of papers

Economy

Interest rates have surged to their highest in 16 years by mid-2023 and, if they remain elevated, higher borrowing costs could discourage business and consumer spending while making debt-servicing more difficult.

Fixed Income

Our analysis suggests yields could fall to levels that would deliver mid-to-high single digit total returns over the year ahead as investors receive attractive coupon income in addition to capital gains as yields move lower.

Equity markets

In our view, earnings expectations for 2024 would be vulnerable if economies fell into recession. A soft landing, though, would see stocks extend their gains with the rally broadening out and potential shifts in leadership to value and small cap stocks.

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