Bringing you live news and features since 2013
Bringing you news, views and analysis since 2013

2693

Investors predict world economy to improve in the next year, survey finds

RELATED TOPICS​

Bullishness in global markets has reached new heights with seven out of ten investors predicting the world economy to improve in the next 12 months, according to a survey of fund manage

Bullishness in global markets has reached new heights with seven out of ten investors predicting the world economy to improve in the next 12 months, according to a survey of fund managers by Merrill Lynch.

Supported by positive expectations on corporate profits, portfolio managers are backing their optimism with action by putting their money to work. Average cash holdings have fallen to 4.3 per cent from 4.9 per cent in April. Equities, while underweight, are more popular, especially cyclical sectors that are expected to perform best in a recovery.

Investors have moved to a net underweight position in bonds for the first time since last August. Many are rushing to emerging markets, as investor optimism on China’s economy is higher than at any point in the past six years.

‘Investors are finally opening their wallets and reducing cash balances to mid-cycle levels to buy equities, cyclical stocks and risky assets,’ says Michael Hartnett, Banc of America Securities-Merrill Lynch co-head of international investment strategy. ‘However, this rush to take on risk, especially in emerging markets, is reminiscent of bubble-like behavior. A record net 40 per cent of fund managers are looking to overweight the region in the next 12 months.’
 
Sentiment towards the global economy has completed a sharp turnaround from the dark days of October 2008, when a net 60 per cent of investors forecasted a worsening outlook. In May’s survey, a net 57 per cent say the economy will improve over the next 12 months, up from 26 per cent in April.

Nowhere has the reversal in economic outlook been more pronounced than in Europe. A net 35 per cent of respondents to the Regional Fund Manager Survey expect Europe’s economy to improve in the coming year. That is in sharp contrast to April when a net 26 per cent forecasted further deterioration.

Investors have suddenly become bullish about corporate profits with a net 18 per cent who say the outlook for global profits will improve in the next 12 months. This represents a big swing from April when a net 12 per cent were bearish about profits. 

The heightened appetite for equities is concentrated on emerging markets. A net 46 per cent of investors are overweight emerging market stocks, up from a net 26 per cent in April. Bullishness about China’s economy has reached its highest level since the survey began tracking China in 2003. A net 61 per cent of respondents see its economy improving – in November a net 87 per cent of the panel expected the Chinese economy to weaken.

A shift out of defensive investments towards cyclical stocks is ongoing. For the first time since early 2005, panelists are underweight (net two per cent) their favorite recessionary sector, pharmaceuticals, compared with a net 21 per cent overweight in April. Investors have also reduced holdings in staples, telecoms and utilities in favour of energy, materials and idustrials. They have continued to increase allocations to banks, reducing the net underweight position to the sector’s lowest since June 2007.

However, on a less sanguine note, asset allocators have yet to fully embrace equities. A net six per cent of asset allocators remain under weight equities globally, with significant underweights in Japan, the eurozone and the UK.

Latest News

DWS has announced the latest development in its strategic growth push in Alternative Credit with..
According to the latest ESG data from PwC Luxembourg finds that investment flows towards EU..
Solactive and private equity data provider CEPRES have established a new partnership for to introduce..

Related Articles

Pension funds
UK defined benefit (DB) pension plan sponsors could have access to GBP 1.2 trillion in surplus assets over the next decade, industry research reveals...
UK defined benefit (DB) pension plan sponsors could have access to GBP 1.2 trillion in surplus assets over the next..
Tim Crawmer, Payden & Rygel
Tim Crawmer and Frasat Shah of Payden & Rygel write that higher yields are attracting more demand from investors. Also, given that equities had a strong year last year, big funds have taken some chips off the table in equities and put them into fixed income...
Tim Crawmer and Frasat Shah of Payden & Rygel write that higher yields are attracting more demand from investors. Also,..
Lady justice
Top marks for the Pensions Regulator (TPR) whose efforts to improve resilience in the UK pension funds’ liability-driven investment (LDI) strategies received glowing commendations from the Bank of England in its March report...
Top marks for the Pensions Regulator (TPR) whose efforts to improve resilience in the UK pension funds’ liability-driven investment (LDI)..
Pension funds
Four potential operators of pensions dashboards (Just Group, Legal & General, Moneyhub and Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group) are coming together to instigate a new industry coalition...
Four potential operators of pensions dashboards (Just Group, Legal & General, Moneyhub and Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group) are..
Subscribe to the Institutional Asset Manager newsletter

Subscribe for access to our weekly newsletter, newsletter archive, updates on the site and exclusive email content.

Marketing by