As the yearly returns can attest this year has been something rarely seen, SIMULTANEOUS GLOBAL GROWTH. The economic numbers from around the world have been steady as the result of monetary stimulus taking hold and elevating the markets. Not surprisingly, equities have been the place to be, because with new money being pushed into the market (quantitative easing) and zero or negative interest rates (guaranteed losing return); where else could you get a return on your investment?
With Dutch and recent French elections going according to plan and Donald Trump firing the FBI director for investigating his dealings with Russia, it’s hard to sometimes remind ourselves that the global economy matters more than politics. The health of the US economy and earnings matter more than the recent political woes and the Federal Reserve’s constant spotlight.
We decided to combine February and March in this issue as there weren’t as many headlines in February to discuss. March was a less impressive month compared to a fantastic February. In February the global economy rebounded with China leading the way. In March, we received mixed results from major economies with the exception of Germany and Hong Kong realizing strong economic results.
U.S. Raises Interest Rates
What happened and what it means to you.
Yesterday as expected the US fed raised their target federal funds rate to 0.75%. In her speech Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen stated that “Job gains have been solid in recent months and the unemployment rate has declined” in addition inflation has increased “considerably”. These are good signs that the economy is recovering at a strong pace than expected at the beginning of the year. They believe that it is growing strong enough that the Federal Reserve anticipates another 3 raise hikes before 2018 and continue into 2019, eventually bringing the US fed fund rates closer to their long-term average. This means the US will still experience below average interest rates for the next 2 years.