The U.S. economy has had the weakest recovery from recession in the post-World War II period, but another slowdown isn’t likely in the next 12 months.
That’s the message from David Rosenberg, chief investment strategist at Gluskin Sheff & Associates Inc., after examining the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s National Activity Index. The benchmark compiles data from 85 high-frequency indicators about the U.S. economy.
“Our recession forecasting model based on the NAI assigns just a 4 percent probability of an economic downturn based on the current level of the NAI,” Rosenberg says in a Nov. 22 report obtained by Newsmax Finance. The last recession ended in 2009 as the global economy recovered from the steepest decline in 80 years.
Stocks have rallied to record highs since Republican Donald Trump won the presidential election on November 8. Rosenberg is concerned that some of the policies proposed by Trump during the campaign will hurt growth.
“Imposing tariffs on China and other countries could spark a trade war, or at the least disrupt global supply chains,” Rosenberg says. “His anti-immigration policies played well to his xenophobic base, but are anti-growth.”
Higher tariffs are reminiscent of the Tariff Act of 1930, also known as the Smoot-Hawley Tariff for its sponsors in Congress. Many economists blame the law for damping trade and prolonging the Great Depression.
Rosenberg also says Trump’s tax proposals will magnify income inequality in the U.S. and add trillions to the federal debt.
“I have to admit that I marvel at the markets’ bullish interpretation of the outcome of the election,” Rosenberg says. “The VIX down 30 percent and the MOVE index (a gauge for bond market volatility) up 19 percent is not a combination you see every day.”
The Chicago Board Options Exchange’s Volatility Index, or VIX, is a measure of how much investors anticipate the market will fluctuate.
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