The fourth-quarter earnings season is expected to be characterized by subdued performances by businesses weighed down by high borrowing costs, deflated asset prices, and softening consumer demand due to decreased discretionary expenditure.
With the Federal Reserve unwilling to risk complacency by taking its foot off the brake with regard to its monetary policy, the pain is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman added, “I expect that once we achieve a sufficiently restrictive federal funds rate, it will need to remain at that level for some time.”
To add to the headwinds closer to home, China, a key source of demand and labor for the modern global economy, revealed a decline in its population for the first time since 1961. Moreover, the Chinese economy expanded at a meager 3% in 2022, the slowest in decades and in stark contrast to the 8.4% growth recorded in 2021.
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