Fort Worth private banking leader sees strong economic indicators for recovery
Sponsored content from JP Morgan Private Bank
By David Nolet
It has been almost six months since the first drug companies announced their vaccination breakthroughs in the fight against COVID-19, ushering in hope for the end of the pandemic, lockdowns, relatives’ separation and hours of binge-watching. With that promise, markets have recovered, consumers have increased their spending, and economic activity and growth have increased.
The vaccine breakthrough bolstered the hopeful outlook for investors for 2021, which was reflected in further multiple expansions in the world’s major equity markets. But when the global economic engine turned again, corporate profits recovered. For example, earnings growth since November has contributed more than half of the + 17.6% return on US stocks (as opposed to the period between the March market low and the vaccine announcement, which saw earnings less than a fifth of the Make a return). . For the coming year, we expect that earnings will add even more to the rise in equity as activities come back to life and consumers spend excess savings.
Life is not entirely normal, but mobility is increasing. The more people in developed countries are being vaccinated, the number of cases is falling, and the weather is getting warmer, the more people are turning away from the lockdown lifestyle. Google’s data tracking activity in everything from retail stores and recreational areas to transportation hubs and offices has recovered significantly from its lows.
Communities may not be as busy as they were before the pandemic, but they are getting there. Here in Fort Worth, it’s exciting to see events at the Dickies Arena again. The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History should reopen its doors this summer, and the Fort Worth Zoo recently unveiled its new elephant habitat, Asian Falls.
Consumers have been spending enthusiastically again. When the pandemic hit, consumers quickly shifted their preferences to everything related to home improvement and electronics – so much so that the “goods producing” part of the economy quickly recovered and even flourished. But as the recovery continues, this broader dynamic is not slowing. According to the JPMorgan Chase Institute, Dallas-Fort Worth sales growth was 9.1% in January 2021, compared to the national average of 2.7% in January.
As you’d expect, with increasing mobility, Americans are again spending on highly competitive services like restaurants, accommodation, and entertainment. All of this bodes well for recovery – the consumer makes up about 70% of the economy. On the hospitality side, there have been reports of workforce rebuilding difficulties where restaurants do not have enough waiters to support customer demand. There is a sense of subdued optimism that shouldn’t improve until vaccinations are available for those ages 16+, and we see optimism affecting spending. Consumer spending ages 35 to 44 had the largest impact on growth in Dallas-Fort Worth, representing the fastest growth in Dallas-Fort Worth at 13.6% compared to all other age groups in the metropolitan area in January 2021 .
Even if some indicators continue to catch up, the economy as a whole is roaring back. A number of important growth indicators consistently signal expansion. Manufacturing is growing rapidly and has cushioned the economic impact of further lockdowns, while services are expected to rise. In a sample we track of developed and emerging economies, 95% expanding in manufacturing (versus 62% in services). As the introduction of vaccines allows economies to relax restrictions, the gap between manufacturing and services should narrow.
All in all, the world already feels different than it did in November. We believe the ingredients are all there to enable a year of economic growth not seen since the early 1980s. Jamie Dimon, our Chairman and CEO, has investigated this point further in JPMorgan Chase’s Annual Letter to Shareholders.
David Nolet is the General Manager and Market Manager in Fort Worth, TX at JP Morgan Private Bank. David oversees a team of bankers, investors, wealth strategists, and finance professionals who provide advice on investing, philanthropy, family office management, credit, fiduciary services, advisory services, and more. To learn more about David Nolet and the Texas private bank, visit www.privatebank.jpmorgan.com/fort-worth.
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