How soft is your landing?
By: Thomas Richmond, Co-Head of Taxable SMA Strategies, Senior Portfolio Manager
If you ask a stranger how the U.S. economy is doing, you will undoubtedly get responses that fun the gamut from “great” to “lousy”, depending on the circumstances of the individual. We can, however, venture to guess as to what an “average” response might sound like, given current economic and anecdotal information. Gas prices are rising again – always a hot button topic – which might be especially painful given the rise in the price of just about everything over the past few years, so inflation would feature prominently among responses. Broadly speaking, we believe that most folks would still be working and may have seen their wages rise, even in real terms, over the past few quarters, which may mitigate some of that pain. The respondent might still be spending on “stuff” and “experiences”, although any excess cash they may have amassed during the pandemic may just about be gone, and their credit card balances may be growing or even a bit delinquent. Homeowners might be happier or at least wealthier, on balance , as would most owners of stocks, although many former college students might bemoan the restart of loan payments. It feels like the short answer to the question of the economy’s health would be something like “OK”.
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