Using past experience to predict how the recovery from the pandemic will unfold could prove to be dangerous. There simply hasn’t been a recovery from a public health crisis since the Roaring Twenties, when we lived in a very different economy. Some, like high-profile hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones, predict the global economy could experience a surge of explosive growth next year as widespread vaccination unleashes a wave of repressed demand.

That is far from a consensus viewpoint.

This recession wasn’t caused by irrational exuberance, an asset bubble, a financial crisis or an excess inventory problem, notes Permanent Portfolio CEO and CIO Michael Cuggino. But the intrinsic character of the sharp government-mandated, lockdown recession is likely to result in a “lumpy, bumpy” recovery, he thinks.

It could turn out to be more like “a snowball rolling down a hill” with varying degrees in the angle of descent. This could translate into a rebound where the economy could take “two steps forward and one step backwards” for the next few years.

Part of the reason is the bifurcation of different areas of the economy during the pandemic. The stock market and the economy are two glaring examples of systems living in two different worlds, but they aren’t the only ones.

Some highly skilled workers are seeing their businesses prosper and their income rise while many more in the service sector are suffering. One big question: What happens in mid-2021 when much of the global population gets vaccinated?

There is likely to be a burst of pent-up demand as billions of people get a chance to return to some degree of normalcy. Cuggino believes it is possible that this demand surge, when combined with supply chain disruptions and stress on certain commodities where production has failed to keep up, could cause an uptick in commodity prices.

And it won’t require a Roaring Twenties-style recovery. Commodities like copper, iron ore, nickel and lumber have already been perking up in price. Shares of iron ore giant Rio Tinto rose 11% this past week. Energy stocks have climbed more than 30% in the last month.

Housing, of course, has been one of those “Covid industries,” Cuggino notes, as people rethink the way they want to live. As global growth regains momentum, the dollar should start to weaken. Indeed, it already has.

Unemployment is down to 6.7% and, at some point, the recovery could start to show up in wage gains. “The commodity cycle could have some staying power,” Cuggino says.

First « 1 2 » Next
To read more stories , click here