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While Canada’s economy accelerated at the start of 2024, economists expect it to slow for the remainder of the year as retail sales slow, manufacturing softens and home sales dwindle.

U.S. stock performance was driven by better than-expected earnings growth, continued excitement over artificial intelligence (AI) and a positive outlook for inflation.

European equities have started 2024 as one of the stronger regions in the context of broadly robust global markets.

Asian equities gained over the three-month period, slightly outperforming most other major markets in local currency but underperforming in U.S.-dollar terms.

Emerging-market equities have started to outperform developed markets in a reversal from the trend of the past few years, catalyzed by an early 2024 rebound in Chinese equities.

Executive summary

Economies have demonstrated resilience in the face of restrictive monetary conditions and inflation has now cooled sufficiently to prompt central-bank rate cuts. Investors have embraced this favourable backdrop, with stocks climbing to record levels.

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The global economy has managed to withstand higher interest rates and continue to grow, reinforcing our view that a recession can be avoided over the year ahead.

Fixed Income

Our view is that fixed income markets offer decent return potential in the mid single digits and with only modest valuation risk over the year ahead, especially in an environment where central banks are actively cutting rates.

Equity markets

Equity markets climbed to new highs in the past quarter, although the biggest gains have been highly concentrated in a small group of mega-cap technology stocks that have benefited from trends in artificial intelligence.


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