Global Market Outlook for 2018: An End or a Beginning?

Thursday, December 7, 2017

2017 was a particularly strong year, with broad growth and low inflation creating an almost perfect environment for equity investors.

Technology was a significant part of that story. Bitcoin reached $17,000, an increase of over 1,600% since January 1. China, which is transforming into one of the most innovative countries in the world, had one of the most interesting runs we have seen for a while.

And there were other less obvious but notable areas of strong price action: Salvator Mundi, a painting of Christ by Leonardo da Vinci, sold for $450 million, and Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona was the most expensive watch ever sold at auction at about $18 million.

Because that kind of price action normally occurs further into a cycle, it is difficult not to think that we are near the end of something. But when we look at some of the themes dominating the markets in 2017, we are clearly at the beginning in many ways.

In William’s Blair’s annual presentation to clients and subsequent paper, Global Strategist Olga Bitel and Portfolio Manager Simon Fennell provided broader context.

In This Piece

  • Looking Back: 2017
  • The Technology Story: Structural and Here to Stay
  • Looking Ahead: Trade-off Between Interest Rates and Growth Less Favorable
  • The United States: Where to From Here?
  • China: From Smokestack to Labtech
  • Artificial Intelligence’s Coming of Age
  • Being Mindful as We Look Ahead

Listen to the replay

Read the paper

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