The first quarter of 2020 started off well but didn’t end that way. At the beginning of the year, we expressed concerns over the level of market valuations, rising global debt levels, international trade disputes and their effect on supply chains and business planning as well as other geopolitical tensions. Admittedly, we did not factor in a sudden GLOBAL PANDEMIC!
After a dismal end to last year, global stock markets rebounded in the first quarter making up much of the ground lost in the final quarter of 2018. The underpinnings of this sudden reversal in sentiment are less clear. There appears to be a disconnect between the direction of the stock markets and the direction of the global economies. Economists continue to moderate the outlook for future economic growth. The issues that vexed the markets in 2018 remain and in many cases, those issues have deteriorated even further.