Wednesday, 17 January 2024 13:08

Economic Risks Increasing, Financial Risks Receding: PIMCO

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PIMCO sees a changed environment in 2024 as the Fed will pivot to rate cuts. However, it sees the impact of prior rate hikes still impacting economies and leading to stagnation or a mild contraction. 


Financial markets will be focusing on the timing and pace of rate cuts. Based on history, central banks don’t ease in anticipation of economic weakness. Instead, they tend to cut only after recessionary conditions materialize and tend to cut more than expected by the market. 


PIMCO agrees with Chair Powell that inflation and growth risks are now more ‘symmetrical’. However, it believes the market is underpricing recession risk especially given that some assets are already priced for a soft landing given the strong rally in many assets over the past few months. 


It also believes that fixed income is particularly appropriate for this environment given that yields are still close to multi-decade highs. It also offers protection and upside in the event of economic conditions deteriorating. Within the asset class, it favors mortgage-backed securities and believes investors should stick to medium-duration bonds as yields are attractive while interest rate risk is reduced. On a longer-term basis, PIMCO sees neutral policy rates to reach similar levels to before the pandemic which is also supportive of the category. 

Finsum: PIMCO sees financial conditions easing in 2024 as the Fed cuts rates, but economic conditions will deteriorate given the delayed impact of tight monetary policy.


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