Investors’ optimism about prospects for global economic growth paled in August, according to the latest Bank of America Merrill Lynch Fund Managers Survey, released Tuesday.
Fifty-three percent of investors said the global economy would strengthen in the coming year, down eight percentage points from July.
China was on investors’ minds, as 52% rated a recession there as the number one “tail risk,” a shift from July when survey panelists said a potential breakdown of the eurozone was the biggest tail risk.
Nearly three-quarters of participants in the August survey thought that China’s real GDP growth would trend below 6% by 2018, and one-third thought it would fall below 5%.
Worries about Greece, meanwhile, receded substantially, with only 2% of panelists considering it as the greatest risk, compared with 26% in July.
Reuters reported Wednesday that Germany’s Bundestag had approved Greece’s third bailout, paving the way for Athens to receive funding that will enable it to make a debt repayment to the European Central Bank on Thursday.
Investors in August also positioned themselves for lower growth in emerging markets and continued weakness in the energy sector.
The survey reported the lowest allocations to emerging markets equities since April 2001, with investors underweight by a net 32%. They were underweight energy by a net 30%, the lowest allocation to that sector since February 2002.