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Investors turning more bearish on global economy – BoFA survey

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A trader works on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., August 9, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

LONDON (Reuters) – Barely a tenth of respondents in a monthly fund manager survey expect a stronger global economy in the coming months, marking the lowest proportion since last April’s initial COVID-19 panic, BoFA’s September edition of the survey showed.

Economic growth expectations are now at a net 13%, the lowest since April 2020 and markedly down from a 91% peak in March this year. The spread of the Delta variant was cited as the reason for the pessimism, the popular monthly survey said.

Nevertheless, 84% of investors now expect the U.S. Federal Reserve to start reeling in its stimulus measures by the end of the year, though expectations for the first U.S. rate hike were pushed out to February 2023 from November 2022 previously.

Despite the growing caution on the macro- outlook, investor positioning in asset markets remains bullish. Equity market protection designed to shield portfolios against a sharp drop in asset values was at the lowest levels since January 2008.

Global liquidity conditions were widely seen as the best since just before the global financial crisis hit world markets in July 2007. Almost 60% of respondents in the survey said monetary policy was “too simulative” which was the highest proportion since May 2011.

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