This year has by and large been a rather nerve-racking one all around. The presidential election has taken an unprecedented and zany path, the stock market went from steady in 2015 to panic in the first weeks of 2016 and then back to joy. Economic reports also looked very ugly in the first eight weeks or so of the year, and the oil free fall was so bad that the benefits for consumers were minimized. In January and February the recession risks for the United States were picking up. Now, what feels like a rapid turn for the better, it looks as though the biggest risks for the U.S. falling back into recession in 2016 have all but vanished.
24/7 Wall St. has identified 15 reasons why the odds of a recession in the United States have moved from a “possible to likely” range down to “possible but highly unlikely.”
Before anyone gets overly excited here, the benefits in the stock market already may reflect too much exuberance. This feels just like a return to something resembling normalcy, under low-growth expectations, than it does a breakout economy. The slow growth may continue to feel very muted to many consumers, employers, investors and economists alike.
The recovery in the stock market has been one thing, but the recovery in commodities, the action in the bond market and even some glimmer of positive economic readings are all a part here. Clearly market fear and market excitement just do not always come even close to resembling the actual economic situation at any given time. Financial markets generally are supposed to be a price discovery effort for what things may be in three to 12 months out rather than just a voting proxy for a given day.
Some outsiders are getting more comfortable about a no-recession tone. Blackstone’s Byron Wein said in his March 2016 market commentary that the United States will not endure a bear market or a recession this year. Back on March 8, the key Merrill Lynch RIC Report said “The Sky Is Not Falling!” On March 11, Goldman Sachs raised its floor targets and expectations for oil for 2016 and beyond. Warren Buffett, Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein have all made statements to minimize the fears of an imminent recession as well.
In an effort to show that the recession risks are dwindling, 24/7 Wall St. tried to take a 30,000-foot view of the United States and the world using 15 points. Make no mistake, there are massive problems out there, and any one of the lowered risks could easily reverse and change the news flow. Much of the world continues to have subpar economic conditions. And averting a recession in 2016 does not at all mean that the global economy will chug along in future years — we are now seven years since the Great Recession formally ended and since the 2009 massive V-bottom in stocks.
Many issues were considered, like the Federal Reserve and outside central banks; quantitative easing (QE) versus tightening; oil, metals and commodities; the dollar and currencies; and China and other emerging markets. We also looked into the U.S. and other stock markets, bond markets and credit spreads. Geopolitical risks, the zany presidential election and even the plethora of changing economic reports were also considered. Links have been provided to many source articles, and exchange traded funds (ETFs) have been used to show more pointed recession de-risk issues.
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