An Unusual Constellation Of Economic Surprises
Published Friday, December 6, 2019 at: 7:00 AM EST
Stocks closed on Friday near an all-time high after a surprisingly strong employment report boosted hopes that the 10½-year expansion — already six months longer than the longest expansion in modern U.S. history — would roar ahead, even as a third of economists reportedly predict a recession in 2020.
To be clear, a third of the 60 economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal in early November expect a recession in 2020 and nearly as many (29%) predict a recession by the end of 2021. Yet the economic data week after week for months keeps indicating that no recession is on the horizon.
An unusual constellation of economic fundamentals has aligned that's causing surprising changes that confound financial markets, providing unexpectedly good news for U.S. stock investors: inflation is trending at 1.4%, lower for years than the Fed expected negative interest rates in Germany are depressing U.S. interest rates the prospect of low yields and low inflation is forcing a revaluation in stocks and bonds the U.S. labor force is growing because more Americans 65 and older are returning to the labor force The Federal Reserve is better at reacting to financial markets and economic conditions
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