Omicron: a threat to world growth?
Even if we have yet to suffer the most severe effects of this new wave of infections, analysts are already recalibrating growth expectations that will be affected, at least in the short term. Accordingly, and as Ismael García Puente, investment manager and fund selector at MGP, states, the economic impact will depend on “the control measures taken by governments.” The initial consequences are already being felt, especially in the service sector, which is being constrained by “lower consumer activity.”
Although the expert says that, in view of the latest PMI data, “there are optimistic signs suggesting that the worst of the bottlenecks are now behind us,” the severity of the omicron variant will continue to affect the future of semiconductors and, without a doubt, the energy sector which, in the event that further lockdowns are approved on the continent, “it is to be expected that oil prices will fall.” However, according to Gonzalo Lardiés, senior equity manager in Europe at Andbank, in a debate held on the program “Ponte en Acción”, together with the escalation in the price of electricity, the weather has become an added problem, so he believes that “we will have to see if it is something seasonal or if we really do have difficult months ahead of us.”
With risks on the rise and a Wall Street that has yet to bounce back, the MAPFRE Gestión Patrimonial manager believes that there is something happening in the markets that is hindering our ability to see indices with high yields: “There is a wide dispersion in selective indices such as the NASDAQ, where you find companies that have had either very good or very bad numbers.” Conversely, he points out that the IBEX could be an interesting option for 2022, although he acknowledges that “its excessive polarization by sector could dampen investment.”
Beyond this, Ismael García Puente stresses that this has been a very positive year for equities, “with accumulated returns of around 20%.” “As long as inflation stays above interest rates, we’re saying it’s a favorable environment for equities," adds the expert, who also notes the importance of active management in this type of investment and the need for a good advisor.