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Expert Opinions

Looking Ahead To 2019 After A Rough Year

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After the worst year for financial markets since the 2008 crisis, get the full story and our outlook for 2019. 

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Looking Ahead To 2019 After A Rough Year
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After the worst year for financial markets since the 2008 crisis, get the full story and our outlook for 2019. 
 
In our view, fears of a recession in the United States are overblown, if only because consumer spending—which represents 70% of GDP—is solid. Nevertheless, economic indicators, which are still consistent with growth above potential, are expected to decelerate further during the first quarter.
 
Companies will continue to face a very uncertain environment through March 1, the deadline for talks between the United States and China. All this could weigh on corporate investment decisions and earnings prospects. Markets could therefore be left disappointed by weak guidance during the next corporate earnings season. Elsewhere, growth is also softening. In China, additional stimulus measures will be necessary to cushion the slowdown. On the European front, Italy and France are lagging behind, while Brexit is weighing on the United Kingdom. Against this backdrop, the short-term outlook does not look very promising.
 
For investors ready to brace volatility, factors further down the road—additional clarity on the political front, policy intervention in China, a stabilization in macro momentum and a more dovish Fed— should present catalysts for equities to stage a more durable recovery.