The Dynamic Planner Investment Committee met on 23 October and reflected on the implications of the global stagflation environment, with negative earnings growth, persistently high inflation and Central Banks unlikely to pivot to significantly cutting interest rates anytime soon, for fear of inflation spiralling out of control again. Many developed economies, particularly in the case of the UK and US, are teetering on recession and may have already experienced periods of intermittent recession, without necessarily realising it.
The continued flatlining of the UK economy for such a long period was also a subject of discussion. Inflationary pressures (particularly from semi- and low-skilled wage growth) remains stubbornly high with interest rates, after 14 hikes so far, likely to remain high for longer. Rising fuel prices, as a result of the rising tensions in the Middle East, could also delay the more recent falling headline inflation numbers.
Quantitative tightening by Central Banks, to reduce their balance sheets and higher interest rates, means major concerns persist for the overvalued Global Government Bonds. Bond yields, having risen steeply at the shorter end, saw the curve flatten, but it remains inverted, which traditionally is a recessionary signal. Whilst interest rate normalization continues, negative real bond returns are to be expected for the foreseeable future, as high inflation persists and the US / global yield curves steepen.
With the prospect of further periods of volatility associated with the ongoing geo-political crises, and the inevitable run in to next year’s elections in the US and UK, the IC focused on the diversification benefits of the benchmark allocations and the stress testing of the Value at Risk metrics.
Read the full analysis and update from the Dynamic Planner Investment Committee.