Institutional investment managers are concerned slowing global growth could hurt returns, but most do not think the U.S. is headed for a recession in the next twelve months, according to a survey from Corbin Advisors.
Corbin said “neutral” or “bearish” sentiment was 53%, up from 33% last quarter. Managers were also perceived to be more cautious than last quarter. Sixty-two percent of respondents thought the U.S. economy was losing momentum, but more than 70% did not think a recession was imminent.
“The economy is losing steam; tax reform effects are fading, trade concern is causing capex to slow down and margins are under pressure,” said Max Gokhman, head of asset allocation at Pacific Life Fund Advisors.
Corbin surveyed 84 institutional investors and sell-side analysts globally, representing more than $2.3 trillion in equity assets under management.
Nearly 80% of respondents thought U.S. gross domestic product for the year would remain in line with last year at plus or minus 2.5%.
But a solid majority of respondents indicated at least one rate cut by the Federal Reserve was likely. Corbin said 69% of investors expected the Fed Funds rate to be between 2.0% and 2.25% by year’s end.
Trade wars and geopolitical tensions topped the list of investor concerns. Sixty-five percent of respondents said they had high levels of concern over trade wars. Fifty-four percent said the trade war between China and the United States was “somewhat likely” to be resolved favorably over the next six months, but 70% of respondents were not concerned or only somewhat concerned about Brexit.
Forty-one percent of respondents said they thought second-quarter earnings would decrease sequentially. Forty-three percent said earnings would be worse than consensus, the highest level since 2015.
Eighty percent of respondents said they were placing more emphasis on balance-sheet strength than they did a year ago.
The survey was conducted between June 14 and June 28.