We anticipate that with the economic recovery from the pandemic progressing into next year, earnings growth will be driven by the Industrials, Energy and Consumer Discretionary sectors. Loan growth and consumer spending are gaining momentum as the economy reopens, which has helped offset the impact of low interest rates in Canada and the U.S.
The Fed is focused on achieving maximum employment and seems convinced that the recent jump in inflation should ease as supply-chain congestion is relieved and demand shifts from goods to services. We expect financial markets to be volatile over the next few months and intend to use any market decline to increase our exposure.
The backdrop for European equities is somewhat mixed. Certain leading indicators in Europe have peaked, but earnings estimates are still being raised and there is good policy support, both fiscal and monetary. We believe that ‘tail risk’ events – occurrences that are unlikely but are an important consideration in assessing portfolio risks – will become more frequent.
The regulatory threat confronting Chinese growth stocks is unlikely to dissipate in the near term, leading to a rotation into India. We expect Asian economies to expand gradually in the months ahead, with growth gaining momentum amid rising demand for exports and increased domestic consumption.
In our view, the more limited emerging-market policy response means that emerging-market central banks may have an easier time navigating their way out of the pandemic. We believe that financial companies are well positioned to benefit as the number of businesses and individuals making use of loans, insurance and other financial services continues to expand.
The economic rebound from last year’s deep recession is now behind us and some of the extreme dislocations that resulted from the pandemic are moderating. While the economy is slowing, growth remains robust and consumers are well positioned to support the expansion. Bond yields remain unsustainably low and we continue to prefer equities as surging corporate profits have pushed the bull market to new highs.