The World’s Biggest Money Manager Says We Are Not Headed for a Recession

on September 6, 2015 in Valladolid, Spain.
Photograph by Denis Doyle — Getty Images

Last week’s market rally isn’t the calm before the storm, according to the world’s largest money manager. It’s an updraft that will push the U.S. economy up further.

“The rally appears to be more than a technical bounce,” Richard Turnill, global chief investment strategist at BlackRock (BLK), wrote in a Monday report. “U.S. data have improved enough to ease recession fears, and inflation expectations have picked up.”

And while recent economic indicators point to a mild slowdown in the U.S. economy, Turnill believes it “is not headed for a recession.” BlackRock manages $4.6 trillion in assets.

In the past few week, market rallies effectively erased year-to-date losses on the S&P 500, emerging markets, U.S. high yield, and commodities markets—and the upside hasn’t peaked yet.

Turnill noted two main points that made him believe the economy would be boosted by further tailwinds over the short term at least.

First, markets are undervalued, with global value stocks trading at a 35% discount in relation to the broader market, in contrast to a 20% discount average from the past decade. Value stocks are those that trade below their peers, despite strong fundamentals.


Second, the Federal Reserve’s guidance shift from four interest rate increases in 2016 down to two suggests the central bank would tolerate higher inflation in the short run—prompting a weaker U.S. dollar. That in turn has boosted other economic metrics including emerging markets and export-heavy stocks.

But while stocks and commodities might be surging, the fewer rate increases projected in 2016 should also be a signal for investors to limit their bets on U.S. Treasuries. In March, those returns fell 0.71%, according to Bloomberg’s Treasury Bond Index.

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