On Jan. 31, Vanguard released its outlook for U.S. economic growth, inflation, interest rates, and returns for stocks and bonds in the decade ahead. It highlighted the following points:
U.S. economic recovery should continue to grow at a below-average 2-3% pace, and future U.S. economic growth could prove uneven, “marked by periodic bouts of market volatility and economic slowdowns in 2012 and beyond.”
An “inflation paradox” should stay in place for much of the developed world, as central banks grapple with the need to mitigate the deflationary forces of debt reduction and fiscal austerity with concerns over higher-than-expected inflation in the future.
U.S. inflation should be “better behaved” and average in the 2-3% range over the next several years, as the risk of high inflation is estimated at less than 10%.
Real (inflation-adjusted) interest rates are likely to remain negative for years.