Our views for the
second quarter

03 abr 2017

Reflation is going global. The signs include a rebound in inflation expectations, a bottoming out in core inflation and wages, and a synchronized pick-up in economic activity indicators and corporate earnings estimates.


Markets are catching up to these fast-changing dynamics. A synchronized global recovery in corporate earnings is supporting equities. This is not only about reflation. Cost discipline (resources), hopes for regulatory easing (financials) and innovation (tech) are all contributing to strong 2017 earnings expectations. Earnings momentum is particularly strong in Japan and emerging markets (EMs), while solid in Europe. See the chart below. This underpins our preference for non-U.S. equities at this time.

Earnings upswing
Changes in corporate profit estimates, 2012-2017

Earnings upswing

Sources: BlackRock Investment Institute, MSCI and Thomson Reuters, March 2017.
Notes: The lines show the three-month change in the aggregate 12-month forward earnings estimates. The data are based on the MSCI U.S., EMU, Japan and EM indexes.


We believe the reflation trade — overweighting cyclical equities — has room to run, especially outside the U.S. We see global yields rising further but within limits: The U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) is likely to raise interest rates only gradually, and structural dynamics such as aging populations keep us in a low-return world. We believe investors need to go beyond broad equity and bond exposures to diversify portfolios in this environment, and include factor-based allocations and alternatives.


Sharp increases in sentiment-based indicators may fail to translate into hard data such as corporate investment. In the U.S., the anti-growth part of President Donald Trump's agenda (protectionism) could win out over the pro-growth part (deregulation and tax cuts). Any shift of expectations toward a faster pace of Fed rate rises could spook markets. We see upside risk in Europe, where we do not expect elections to deliver the populist outcomes that markets have been fearing.


We prefer equities over fixed income, and selected credit over government bonds. We like European and Japanese stocks amid strong global growth. We see value shares such as financials benefitting from rising yields. We are neutral on U.S. shares because of lofty valuations and the risk that expectations for tax reform and deregulation may be too high. We like emerging market (EM) equities on reform progress in countries such as India and our view that near-term risks to China's growth are overstated. In fixed income, we prefer higher-quality corporate bonds and selected EM debt.


Richard Turnill
Global Chief Investment Strategist for BlackRock
Richard Turnill is Global Chief Investment Strategist for BlackRock. He was previously Chief Investment Strategist for BlackRock’s Fixed Income and active ...
Jean Boivin
Managing Director
Isabelle Mateos y Lago
Chief Multi-Asset Strategist
Kate Moore
Chief Equity Strategist
Jeffrey Rosenberg
Chief Fixed Income Strategist