Simon is a partner at NS Partners LLP and is Economic Adviser to Janus Henderson Investors in London, a role he has held since 2009. He previously worked at New Star Institutional Managers, Lombard Street Research and Bank Julius Baer. He has degrees in economics and finance from Cambridge University and Birkbeck College, London.
The “monetarist” equities / cash switching rule followed here recommends unhedged global equities (MSCI World index) only when the following two conditions are satisfied:
1. Six-month change in global (i.e. G7 plus E7*) real narrow money above six-month change in industrial output;
2. 12-month change in global real narrow money above slow moving average (currently at 5.6%).
The central view here remains that the global economy is staging a V-shaped recovery – or an italic V, at least – from the covid shock (not recession), with industrial output / GDP likely to regain pre-crisis levels in late 2020 / early 2021.
The strong rally in equities since late March contrasts with static longer-term government bond yields, causing some to argue that economic expectations in the two markets are out of sync, the suggestion being that a pessimistic bond market is smarter.
The global stockbuilding (inventory) cycle is judged here to have bottomed in H1 2020, probably Q1. The cycle acted as a drag on global economic momentum in 2018-19 but is now scheduled to provide a tailwind at least through end-2021.
Global six-month real money growth – on both narrow and broad definitions – is estimated to have risen to another post-WW2 high in June, based on data for the US, China, Japan, Brazil and India, which have a combined two-thirds weighting in the G7 plus E7 aggregates calculated here.
The previous quarterly commentary suggested that the policy response to the covid-19 crisis would lead to a strong rise in global money growth, in turn suggesting strong economic growth in late 2020 / 2021.
Global inflation is expected here to pick up significantly over the next 2-3 years. This would be consistent with the Kondratyev “long wave” price / inflation cycle, which implies a multi-year rise to a peak in the late 2020s, as well as current monetary trends – G7 annual broad money growth may have reached 16% in May, which would be the fastest since 1973.