Market Outlook Fall 2023


As we turn the calendar to the closing months of 2023, we look back and consider how the year has unfolded compared to expectations at the beginning of the year. A year ago, the consensus opinion was that economic conditions would be poor in the first half of the year, likely including a recession, and the economy would recover in the second part of the year. Most investors expected a weak first half for stocks, with a rebound later in 2023. Contrary to the consensus belief, the economy proved far more resilient than expected through September, driving equity returns far above expectations in the first half of 2023 as investors’ calls for a 2023 recession went silent by mid-summer.

Orange fall leaves on tree branch with blue sky

During the third quarter, long-term interest rates rose sharply, and geopolitical risks increased, causing investors to rethink their forecasts for economic growth in 2024.  Higher interest rates and the reemergence of economic and geopolitical risks caused stocks to fall from August through late October.  

As we wrote in our 2023 First Quarter Outlook, our base case was that strong consumer spending would support the economy for the first half of the year, but conditions would become more challenging as the year progressed as pandemic savings dwindled, and higher rates began to crimp lending and growth.  While the economy has indeed been incredibly resilient so far in 2023, most indicators that we track indicate we are late in an economic cycle with an elevated risk of an economic contraction during the next several quarters.

As we assess the economic outlook, we want to reinforce that the equity markets and the economy do NOT always move in unison.  Our committee looks at many variables that help the firm make investing decisions for our clients.  We hope you enjoy reading about some of the data we are tracking in our Outlook and our opinion as to what those data points portend for the economy, and most importantly, your investments.  

Download our fall Market Outlook

Macroeconomic Committee

Our Macroeconomic Committee meets monthly to review economic indicators with the purpose of adjusting client portfolio allocations to reflect current and anticipated economic cycles.


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