Global Central Banks React to Slowed Economic Momentum

April 18, 2019 | David Hernandez, CFA, Senior Research Analyst, Non-U.S. Equities

In 2017 the global economy underwent a synchronized move upward and investors saw equities throughout the world generate double-digit returns. That momentum was lost in 2018 and most economic data points missed analysts’ expectations leading to downward revisions in GDP growth. As a result, several major central banks have taken steps to become more accommodative to help navigate the slowdown.

In the U.S., the Fed has put future rate hikes on pause and has communicated it will be patient on future adjustments. Based on Fed Funds futures, the market expects an eventual rate cut. In Europe, the ECB extended its no rate hike stance through the end of 2019. Additionally, the central bank announced its third targeted long-term refinancing operation aimed at avoiding a credit squeeze that could exacerbate the economic slowdown. In China, authorities organized a stimulus package including $298B in tax cuts to help boost domestic demand. Additionally, the country has reduced the bank reserve ratio from 17% at the start of 2018 to 13.5% as of 1Q19. Though still early, there has not been a marked improvement in global economic activity. However, markets have welcomed the more accommodative stances from these three key central banks and equity markets have rebounded from the tough 4Q 2018.

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The opinions expressed herein are those of Marquette Associates, Inc. (“Marquette”), and are subject to change without notice. This material is not financial advice or an offer to purchase or sell any product. Marquette reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies and techniques based on changing market dynamics or client needs.

David Hernandez, CFA
Senior Research Analyst, Non-U.S. Equities

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