Vanguard economic and market outlook for 2019: Down but not out

Vanguard Research report december 2018

As the global economy enters its tenth year of expansion following the global financial crisis, concerns are growing that a recession may be imminent. Although several factors will raise the risk of recession in 2019, a slowdown in growth—led by the United States and China— with periodic “growth scares” is the most likely outcome. In short, economic growth should shift down but not out.

Previous Vanguard outlooks anticipated that the secular forces of globalization and technological disruption would make achieving 2% inflation in the United States, Europe, Japan, and elsewhere more difficult. In 2018, we rightly anticipated a cyclical firming in core inflation across various economies. In 2019, we do not see a material risk of further strong rises in core inflation despite lower unemployment rates and higher wages. This
is because higher wages are not likely to funnel through to higher consumer prices, as inflation expectations remain well-anchored.

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