Nick Schommer: We expect the economy to really accelerate throughout 2021 and it's due to a number of factors. One, the economy’s just going to benefit from lapping easy comparisons through the lockdown periods as well as the muted GDP growth in 2020. But more importantly, we're seeing the consumer have widening acceptance and widening availability to vaccines, particularly in the United States. And that's going to lead to a reopening in the economy and people are going to want to get out and travel. And we're already starting to see the beginning of that, whether it's through improving restaurant sales, improving airline travel or just improving vacation spot metrics. So as we go through the year, we should continue to see an acceleration in GDP growth, and it's really around this V-shaped recovery from the lockdown period that created the deep drawdown in 2020, and now the vaccine and the recovery … the health care solution, allowing for a sharp recovery here in 2021.
So what we continue to see is a very supportive fiscal and monetary backdrop as well as a continued solution to the health care cost crisis making progress during the quarter as more and more people are able to be vaccinated, as people start to look to return to normal, in terms of stocks and stock market performance. We think equities should continue to appreciate throughout the year as people see the very robust economic growth and we continue to expect a broadening of stock market performance. So it's not just the tech sector that led in 2020 driving performance during 2021, but the SMID and mid-cap portion of the economy, as well as other sectors of the market, saying strong performance during the year.
So overall, we remain quite constructive in 2021 but there are a few things we're keeping our eyes on in terms of risks in the market. I think one that's probably less talked about in terms of market participants is just geopolitical risk, whereas we've seen increased tension between China and the United States. And that really has not changed with the new administration, so I think that's something to keep an eye on. We are going to have some inflation through the year. I think in general, that's actually going to be quite constructive for equities. But there will be bottlenecks. It’s harder to reopen an economy than it is to shut one down, so there will be some associated risks with that. And then a couple of things we've seen in the market, particularly in Q1, is just around investors and their leverage. We saw deleveraging and market participants leading to some short-term volatility and short-term de-risking. But overall we remained quite constructive on the market for 2021.
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