Few firms have been as bullish about the recovery as JP Morgan. And unfortunately for the bears, few firms have had it more spot on at every twist and turn. Their bullishness is only picking up momentum. Strategists at America’s second largest bank say the economy is much stronger than many presume and the recovery is about to become self sustaining:
“We believe that the global economy is making an important transition to self sustaining growth as the first quarter comes to an end. As part of this shift, GDP growth is re-accelerating following a modest downshift at the turn of the year. However, it is the significant broadening in G-3 demand, rather than the pickup in top-line growth, that will be the key marker for this transition.
We are becoming more bullish on economic growth, both in terms of how fast economies will grow and in terms of confidence that it will actually happen. Activity data across much of the world have surprised on the upside in recent weeks. Most important is that they
are showing greater breadth across regions, sectors, and types of spending.”
JP Morgan says the risks to economic growth lie to the upside as the recovery broadens, jobs growth improves and confidence accelerates. Based on this, they believe the equity rally should continue into April. They foresee a strong earnings season supporting prices:
“The equity rally should extend into next month, on stronger economic data and the start of the 1Q reporting season, from which we expect good news. The 4Q US reporting season posted a 7% upside surprise: The final operating S&P 500 EPS was 7% above the expectation at the start of the reporting season. Quarterly earnings surprises tend to exhibit strong serial correlation, repeating 82% of the time. This points to another positive surprise in the 1Q reporting season.”