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Market Update | April 9, 2024

Economists define a Goldilocks economy as one that strikes the perfect balance – not too hot, not too cold. As we enter the second quarter of 2024, this delicate equilibrium seems within reach. The Federal Reserve’s strategic moves in 2022 aimed to rein in inflation without plunging the U.S. into a recession. It was a tall order at the time, but as last year and this year have elapsed, the moves seem to be working.

The 2024 economic scorecard currently reads Goldilocks 1, Recession 0. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shows strength, with Q1 growth forecast at 2.1%. Notably, March saw a rise of 303,000 jobs, indicating robust hiring trends.

In March, the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index grew to all-time highs. The stock market’s forward-looking nature suggests a hopeful future, prompting questions about a prolonged Goldilocks era. Having said that, past performance is no guarantee of future results, and the stock market does not advance in a straight line.

We are not naïve. Recessions often happen because of catalysts unforeseen ahead of time. Experiencing another recession is a question of when, not if. We will continue to watch the economic landscape so that we can make informed recommendations. We work hard to juxtapose these broader economic trends with personal financial plans. Staying focused on your unique financial objectives is “step one” in doing that.

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