2023 MARKET OUTLOOK
2022 was a dizzying year as markets and the global economy continued to find itself out of balance due to the still present aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the policy response to it. If 2022 was about recognizing imbalances that had built in the economy and starting to address them, we believe 2023 will be about setting ourselves up for what comes next as the economy and markets find their way back to steadier ground. The process of finding balance may continue to be challenging and we may even see a recession, but underlying fundamentals could create opportunities in stock and bond markets that were difficult to find in 2022.
OUTLOOK – ECONOMY
The global economy will likely slow from the upper-2% range in 2022 down to the mid-1% range in 2023 [Figure 1]. Much depends on China's growth path now that it has largely abandoned its overzealous zero-COVID-19 policy. An important aspect for investors is that the U.S. appears to have fewer headwinds to growth compared with Europe and other developed economies. The divergence between the domestic and international economies is most obvious in the inflation regime. Germany, for example, is still experiencing accelerating rates of inflation, whereas the U.S. has likely moved past the peak. The longer inflation is uncontained, the riskier the growth prospects.