As the new year dawns, most people wonder what 2019 will bring—especially when it comes to finance. The previous year was full of ups and downs, but the declining stock market in the latter half of the year has left a sour feeling in the stomachs of many investors. So what are experts predicting for financial growth in 2019? Will it be more of the same or will the markets rebound and soar?
Goldman Sachs recently announced that it would be downgrading its outlook for 2019. According to one report from CNBC, “Volatile financial markets and softer economic data” were to blame. However, the company also reassured money managers that it did not believe the country was heading for another recession. For the first half of 2019, Goldman has the growth rate pinned at two percent, down from the 2.4 originally predicted. Experts at Goldman believe that, during the second half of the year, the rate will decline further below two percent.
“In our view, a growth slowdown is necessary to ‘land the plane’ and the two key historical risk factors—inflationary overheating and asset market bubbles—remain largely absent,” wrote Goldman Sachs analysts.
The good news is other experts believe the Federal Reserve will begin to make rate cuts during the first part of 2019 in an attempt to undo the hikes of this year. According to CNBC, David Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff said the Fed has a long history of 180-degree turns when it comes to monetary policy. The Fed has already trimmed its estimated number of rate hikes in 2019 from three to two.
“When I tell people the Fed will be easing monetary policy in coming months, the view is met with derisions of laughter. But it is not a laughing matter,” wrote Rosenberg in a memo to Gluskin Sheff clients last week. “These folks who sneer and shake their head just because of what the central bank is saying today are not students of history.”
In addition to the Fed, other factors, such as the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, will also weigh on this year’s financial markets. According to a report from USA Today, experts are anticipating President Trump will increase the amount of Chinese-made goods impacted by the tariffs. Michael Feroli of JPMorgan Chase predicted that, once the additional tariffs hit, the growth rate will feel the impact.
As for commodities trading in 2019, many people are expecting crude oil to stay below the $70 per barrel mark throughout the year. According to a report from Reuters, economists have placed the average price for a barrel of Brent crude at $69.13. Much of the oil price suppression is the result of oversupply concerns that have been plaguing the fossil fuel industry throughout December. Both coffee and sugar are also expected to decline in 2019, according to Bloomberg; however, some economists predict an increase in gold prices as investors search for relief.
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