BlackRock thinks the US economy could be an outlier in 2015.
In its 2015 investment outlook, titled “Dealing With Divergence,” BlackRock sees the US experiencing a “pickup in growth” and improving labour markets.
Financial conditions in the US are also expected to tighten.
“US growth is on an upswing,” the report said. “We expect the US Federal Reserve to start raising rates in 2015 and the yield curve to flatten.”
But this improvement out of the US will be a divergence from the world’s other major financial markets and economies.
While the eurozone, Japan, and China could maybe see some improvements, the firm is cautious on them for the most part.
Europe might see a “surprise upside” — but that’s only because expectations are at “rock bottom.” Investors could see some short-term opportunities in Japanese stocks if there is additional monetary stimulus, but overall the long-term looks risky.
As for China — it’s going to be a major balancing act as the country attempts to mitigate its economic slowdown. Next year, BlackRock expects that financial conditions will ease and growth will slow in the world’s second-largest economy.
Additionally, BlackRock is expecting volatility to be a major feature of 2015. Regional “zero-sum conflicts” in places like Ukraine and the Middle East could be problematic, and “elevated valuations and a voodoo-like belief in momentum raise the costs of mistakes.”
It’s always hard to predict what will actually happen, especially because the two major themes — volatility and divergence — are by definition unpredictable.
And as BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich said at a media briefing attended by Business Insider on Tuesday: “The odds we get it right seem remote.”
As the firm says in its 2015 outlook: “The main point is to have a plan: Readiness rules in 2015.”