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Looking out to 2022, earnings growth is expected to come from all sectors, with Industrials, Energy, Consumer Discretionary and Information Technology the biggest contributors. Inflation pressures and supply-chain issues could weigh on next year’s profit margins and growth expectations, though we continue to see evidence of costs being passed through to consumers in the form of higher prices.

Next year, economic growth is expected to slow to between 3% and 4%, which should translate into corporate revenue growth of 7% and earnings growth of 9%. In the meantime, we continue to maintain exposure to long-term themes such as digitization, electrification, decarbonization, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and infrastructure improvement.

Macroeconomic indicators have continued to be positive, suggesting economic expansion, although they are no longer rising. Going into 2022, we expect earnings growth across Europe to fall back to a more normal 7% to 9% from the extraordinary 45% pace that followed the recovery from the depths of the pandemic.

We expect Asian growth to continue rising gradually, and for domestic demand to catch up to exports as a growth driver. We expect most central banks in the region to shy away from rate hikes except for those in South Korea and India, where economic growth has been more robust.

Emerging-market equities have been negatively affected by the weak performance of China, which accounts for about a third of the emerging-market benchmark and has been the weakest-performing emerging-market country over the past 12 months. Stark valuation differences remain in emerging markets at the sector level.

Executive summary

Underlying economic conditions remain good by historical standards and corporate-profit growth has been stellar. However, the backdrop is shifting and enthusiasm for the recovery has diminished. Moderating growth, the new Omicron virus variant and fading monetary stimulus have agitated financial markets.

Stack of papers

Economy

A new coronavirus variant, problematically high inflation, supply chain challenges and China’s property-market slowdown are among the main headwinds facing economies.

Fixed Income

The key to higher yields lies in the eventual normalization of real interest rates to levels at or above zero.

Equity Markets

Continued strong gains in corporate profits will be critical to supporting higher stock prices and earnings have indeed been spectacular.

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