Main Takeaway

Although markets had a strong first quarter, inflation has been stickier in some key areas of the economy. The services industry continues to be resilient, with employment rising and inflationary pressures increasing, while more interest rate sensitive areas, such as manufacturing, are weaker. The optimistic tone from the Fed has improved the outlook for interest rate cuts, though less liquidity in the banking industry, plus continued fiscal deficits, may keep rates higher for longer.

Top Risks

Rising geopolitical tensions and rate cut predictions have been the main themes this presidential election year. Low office occupancy rates have renewed concerns about the banking sector’s stability, contributing to tighter lending conditions. Municipal finances are coming under pressure in large cities. Government debt levels in most developed nations and China are at all-time highs. Inflationary pressures in the services sector could keep inflation above the Fed’s 2% target for some time.

Sources of Stability

While the Fed’s battle against inflation may not be over, it has made some progress in interest rate sensitive areas of the economy. House prices have stabilized and show signs of rebounding, and businesses are still increasing wages, suggesting a strong economic undercurrent. The S&P 500 has continued its upward climb, credit spreads have tightened, and IPO and M&A activity has picked up. The likelihood of a recession has fallen, barring an unexpected event.

Quarterly Outlook PDF Download

For our latest perspectives on markets and economic conditions, view our Quarterly Outlook for Q2 2024.

For informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as specific investment, accounting, legal or tax advice. Certain information is based upon third party data, which may become outdated or otherwise superseded without notice. Third-party information is deemed to be reliable, but its accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. Indices are not available for direct investment. Their performance does not reflect the expenses associated with the management of an actual portfolio nor do indices represent results of actual trading. Information from sources deemed reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Performance is historical and does not guarantee future results. Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) nor any other federal or state agency have approved, determined the accuracy, or confirmed the adequacy of this article.

© 2024 Buckingham Wealth Partners. Buckingham Strategic Wealth, LLC, & Buckingham Strategic Partners, LLC (Collectively, Buckingham Wealth Partners). R-24-7068

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