Investment managers are holding a more positive outlook about the prospects of the US economy as the Trump administration comes into power, according to a survey by Northern Trust.
About 55% of investment managers surveyed said they expect the US economy to accelerate over the next six months under the new leadership, compared to only 29% in the previous quarter.
Moreover, 62% of managers said they expect the earnings to rise over the next three months, compared to 33% in the previous quarter. Seventeen percent of managers were found to be positive about job growth in the next six months, compared to only 7% in the previous quarter.
Most of the managers cited a corporate tax rate cut, personal income tax rate cut and minor changes to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) as the most likely policy changes in this year. Other likely policy changes cited by respondents include an infrastructure spending plan, repatriation of off-shore taxes, and significant regulation roll-back.
Managers’ inflation expectations have also increased under the new leadership, with 78% expecting inflation to rise over the next six months compared to 47% in the previous quarter.
Trade policy was cited as the top risk to global equity markets, followed by rise in interest rates, and geopolitical risk.
Northern Trust Asset Management CIO for multi-manager solutions Christopher Vella said: “Our survey respondents expect pro-growth initiatives to prevail in the next year, and assign the lowest probability to trade tariffs, significant immigration policy reform, and a repeal or significant changes to the Affordable Care Act.”
The study also revealed 18% of managers, down from 23% in the previous quarter, having cash levels above their normal cash target in their portfolios. Also, 31% of managers compared to 28% previously were found to be more risk averse this quarter.
Managers were also found to be most bullish on US small cap equities, followed by emerging market equities, and commodities. In terms of sector, managers were found to be most bullish on the financial sector.