Macroeconomic & Geopolitical

Is a Blue Wave Enough to Deliver Blue Skies?

January 2021 – 3 min read
Disappointing U.S. employment suggests slowing momentum amid rising cases, but growth is expected to pick up on the backs of greater potential fiscal stimulus and vaccine deployments. Improving data in China confirms the PBOC can pursue its path of less accommodative policy.

Watchlist

Arrows indicate consensus forecast compared to the previous period. Local dates of release.
 

U.S.

  • January Markit flash PMIs will give a glimpse at how services and manufacturing fare amid Lockdown 2.0. Its more-targeted nature should weigh heavily on in-person services.
  • Housing data are expected to remain strong given robust demand and record-low mortgage rates.

Europe

  • The ECB meeting should be fairly uneventful given sufficient policy. The negligible impact of the Italian government crisis on European bond yields is a testament to effective policy.
  • January Markit flash PMIs will show the damage from renewed restrictions (but less than in 2020).

Asia Pacific

  • China Q4 GDP is set to accelerate as China leads the global recovery.
  • The PBOC will likely signal that it remains on its path towards policy normalization. Meanwhile, the BOJ will likely continue its accommodative stance in line with renewed fiscal support.

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Christopher Smart, PhD, CFA

Chief Global Strategist & Head of the Barings Investment Institute

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