Step Away from the Punch Bowl
By: Thomas N. Richmond Jr., Co-Head of Wasmer Shroeder Taxable Bond Strategies
The economic backdrop in the fourth quarter of 2021 was somewhat uneven. Domestic GDP growth reaccelerated in October and November (it had dropped to 2.3% in Q3 but is estimated to have grown close to 7% in Q4), as holiday shoppers, hearing dire predictions for shortages of many potential presents, got busy much ealier in the season than usual, and the pandemic, still somewhat in charge after almost two years, allowed for near normal economic activity for a time. As we all know, the emergence of the Omicron variant in late November put a damper on activity into the end of the year, especially in sectors like travel and entertainment. Nonetheless overall economic performance remained strong, driven by consumers and business with cash to spend.