More than two in five of those surveyed - 41 percent - say the U.S. will be among the best-performing markets over the next year, according to a Bloomberg poll. Even more surprising: The 41 percent figure is almost double the assessment among international investors of Brazil and China. From Bloomberg:
The U.S. "may not be in the best shape ever, but compared to others it should outperform," Alexis Laming, a poll respondent and associate director for Arab Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. in Geneva, says in an e-mail. It has "good growth potential for next year." Less than a quarter of investors say they expect the U.S. to relapse into recession within the next year, according to the poll. In September, half those surveyed forecast a U.S. economic contraction within that time frame. U.S. respondents are more optimistic about the American market than their counterparts overseas: More than half pick it as a best-performing market for 2012 compared with a third of non-U.S. investors who do the same.
I've tended to ignore this kind of polling because, quite frankly, it's often unreliable. Only three months ago a double-dip recession was all the rage. In a few weeks the picture will probably change once more. Nobody knows anything. It is worth noting that the newly released outlook from the UCLA Anderson Forecast is not especially encouraging. Here is David Shulman's take:
Although recent data has improved and the notion of a double-dip recession now appears to be off the table, we continue to forecast real GDP growth at a below trend rate over the next five quarters. Specifically we are forecasting a 2% growth rate for the current quarter and a sub-2% growth rate for most of 2012. However, for 2013 we envision growth to exceed 3% as several of the contractionary forces discussed below abate.
Other economists are a bit more optimistic about next year. Take your pick.