ICM Monthly Outlook - October 2023
JK Galbraith, the famous economist, once said, “The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look good”. Indeed, the one certainty about forecasting is that it will give you plenty to be humble about. It is fair to say that the ongoing strength of the US economy since the Federal Reserve embarked on its programme of tighter monetary policy has been underestimated by most market participants. Despite short-term volatility, we remain constructive on developed world equity markets in the medium to longer term. We believe the outlook for equities and other risk assets, in general, is improving. Forward indicators of the business cycle point to an improving economic outlook as we move through 2024 and into 2025, and this should further benefit corporate earnings. Of course, there are plenty of risks in the short term, such as the factors driving the recent spike in bond yields, the threat of a US Government shutdown, or a stronger US dollar. Still, looking further out, we believe we are in the early stages of an equity bull market, which will be supported by an economic environment of rising growth, peak interest rates and falling inflation.