(Related: Bob Doll’s 10 Predictions for 2020)
The global economy is currently in the middle of a major recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic that has led to a global shutdown of business and day-to-day activity on a scale unseen outside a major war.
Back at the beginning of the year, Nuveen’s chief equity strategist Robert Doll issued his annual predictions for 2020. They were cautiously optimistic, but that was before COVID-19 emerged from the back pages of major newspapers to dominate today’s headlines.
As a result, Doll has had to rethink his predictions. “Our original set were thrown for a loop by the degree to which everything changed,” he wrote in his latest weekly column.
He expects the recession to be deep, painful and rapid. “In early March, consensus expectations for 2020 global GDP growth were +3%. Now they are -3%. A 6% swing would be unusual over a three-year time period. We just saw one in a month.”
Doll said five conclusions have informed his views as he looks to the future. One, the pandemic is an exogenous shock, not an endogenous structural break; underlying financial and economic health were good before it struck.
Two, the current recession was “engineered” as a result of shuttered businesses and curtailed activity. Three, nothing else matters in terms of economic growth until the virus curve bends. Four. The massive monetary and fiscal policy stimulus will not cure the coronavirus, but it will help in the eventual recovery.
And finally, stock markets react quickly to news, whether it’s good or bad, and hit bottom before the economy does. At present, financial markets are stabilizing even as the economy remains in freefall.
Check out the gallery for Doll’s revised list of predictions for 2020.
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