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2021 has seen an inflection point for equity growth after recovering from the COVID fallout. Outside of emerging economies, many of which have struggled with containing the pandemic, major equity indexes have held tight to upward trendlines for the first five months of the year. On balance, our Momentum Dial remains in a “Positive” position.
Consensus estimates for US GDP growth continue to improve, with economists forecasting +9% annualized growth in Q2 and full-year growth to exceed 6% for 2021. Overseas economic activity has also picked up, notably in Europe where leading indicators turned positive for the first time since the pandemic. We believe we are in the early stages of a global economic expansion, and thus our Fundamental Dial shows a “Positive” reading.
Valuation remains a moderating force, particularly amongst the high-priced growth stocks, which have underperformed this year as worries about higher inflation could lead to a price correction. While many view these lofty valuations as sustainable, we recognize the risk they present, which is why our Valuation Dial sits a “Negative” position at present.
On balance, our Three Dials composite reading continues to take a “Cautiously Optimistic” view, as strong showings in the areas of Momentum and Economic Fundamentals are balanced by Valuation concerns.
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