08 JAN 2018

(Un)Steady as She Goes

Investment Strategy Group
Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management
January 2018



2017 was a remarkable year. The US economy continued its recovery, global growth accelerated in a synchronized manner, unemployment rates declined around the world, and easy financial conditions provided a favorable environment for robust, broad-based earnings growth and equity market appreciation. And yet, 2017 was a very unsteady year in other respects, with heightened levels of unease in the US and elsewhere.

While strong underpinnings in the global economy and financial markets point to a “Steady as She Goes” outlook, sentiment indicators, the rise of populism and asset flows reflect an “Unsteady as She Goes” undertow. The key question for our clients in 2018 is whether the major economies and financial markets will stay on their current upward course or whether key economies will get derailed by deteriorating geopolitics, a major cyberattack or terrorist attack, poor monetary and fiscal policies, the rise of extremist populist parties, or some other shock to the global order.

In this year’s Outlook, (Un)Steady as She Goes, we provide data and analysis on the economic and financial market fundamentals underlying this steady and broad-based recovery and recommend clients invest on the basis of the “Steady as She Goes” outlook. However, we recognize the risks associated with the “Unsteady as She Goes” undertow and examine the long list of concerns that could disrupt our base case, including war with North Korea, major disruptions in the Middle East, and a cyberattack on US infrastructure.

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Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management regularly publishes insight and commentary on investment and wealth management topics for our clients. To pursue a conversation on this topic, please contact a private wealth advisor.

The Investment Strategy Group is a part of the Investment Management Division of Goldman Sachs and is not a part of the Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research (GIR) Department. The views and opinions expressed by the Investment Strategy Group may differ from the views and opinions expressed by GIR or other departments or divisions of Goldman Sachs.