Equities have continued to recover from their sell-off late last year...

Many asset classes have done well for the year to date. Income-oriented asset classes like property (local and global) and infrastructure have been in strong demand; and bonds are also ahead for the year as bond yields have fallen. Looking ahead, the most likely scenario is that the world economy will ‘muddle through’ with ongoing economic growth, though the likely pace of business activity now looks slower than previously expected...

Equity prices have had a good start to the year, though the price gains have yet to recover all the ground lost in the global sell-off late last year...

Looking ahead, the central scenario is ongoing global growth at a modestly slower rate, though with significant potential for trade disruptions (US-China, Brexit) and for the policy errors or other accidents that can derail already mature business cycles....

Growth assets have recovered since their low point just before last Christmas, though they have not regained all the ground lost in the final quarter of last year.

Looking ahead, although the outlook for global growth has been marked down a bit, 2019 still looks like another year of global economic expansion. But it could easily be derailed, particularly by any acrimonious trade wars between China and the US or by other risks such as credit market disruptions. The outlook at the moment is consequently hard to call, with some chance of smooth sailing but also a good chance of markets hitting a sharp reef....

Equities have continued to be battered by two big fears for 2019: the potential damage from a U.S.-China trade war and the prospect of a U.S. economic slowdown...

There has also been a slew of other worries, including slower eurozone growth and Brexit. Looking ahead, while all the recent focus has been on downside risks, a broader perspective should allow for the possibility that the long post-GFC economic recovery is still intact, although there is the potential for ill-advised political brinkmanship to derail the cycle....