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Behind the Numbers with Gary Shilling

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I don’t think we’re in a bond bubble, although I know many people feel that way. Our increase in our equity allocation recently simply reflects the momentum in stocks at the moment, although I don’t have long-term faith in them. American businesses continue to cut costs, and profits continue to out-pace revenue growth. Also, strength in the manufacturing sector is helping. Lastly, people are becoming wary of emerging markets, and I expect a hard landing in China, which would be good for the United States. But all that said, I believe a peak in stocks will probably occur later this year, accompanied by a major correction. In order for the rally to occur beyond that, you have to believe people are happy with their savings rate and will begin spending again at levels seen earlier in the decade. We’ve seen the savings rate recently go from below 1% to 5% and I think it will still double from there. That means they’ll have to finance purchases if they want them, but they no longer have access to the type of credit they once had. So near-term we like stocks; longer-term not so much.