Six unfolding stories of 2022
Six unfolding stories of 2022
The global economy rebounded strongly in 2021 from the shock of the pandemic. However, the unusual circumstances of the past two years mean that this recovery has looked very different.
Inflation is one distinctive feature. The combination of strong consumer demand and impaired supply chains has resulted in prices rising at the fastest rate since the early 1980s. While some inflation is welcome as economies grapple with huge debt burdens, too much can be harmful and central banks are now starting to respond to the threat.
Inflation — and what it means for monetary policy — are two of the key themes that we explore in-depth in our Wealth Management 2022 Outlook. We also consider prospects for corporate earnings and rising geopolitical risks.
Meanwhile, longer-term trends will continue to shape the investment outlook, in 2022 and beyond. Climate change and the growth of private asset markets are two which we explore in this year's outlook.
While Omicron is an unwelcome reminder that the pandemic is still a significant threat, we expect to see continued growth in both the global economy and corporate earnings in 2022. However, returns could be lower, and more volatile, than in 2021.
2022 Summary Views
- Global economy: another year of above average growth
- Inflation: to peak in the first quarter of 2022 and settle at a higher level than we saw before the pandemic
- Corporate earnings: set to increase modestly. But pricing power will be crucial and some companies may struggle to protect margins from higher costs
- Monetary policy: Central bank stimulus measures in developed markets will come to an end
- Interest rates: to move modestly higher in the UK and US but unlikely to return to long-term average levels
- Climate change: to remain a key focus for consumers, governments, companies and investors
- Covid-19: Omicron and other variants could pose a threat to our outlook for continued economic recovery and / or inflation
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