Market Perspective

Webinar: Where is the “Great Economic Rotation” Taking Us?

April 22, 2021
The C2FO Team

The economy is on the right track, but challenges ranging from the lingering pandemic to unemployment to inflation remain.

Nearly four months into 2021, the economic recovery has been stronger than expected. 

On April 6, the International Monetary Fund elevated its global economic growth forecast for the year to 6%. Other forecasters have projected US economic growth for 2021 at 7%. Markets, jobs and COVID-19 cases have all been trending in the right direction. 

Still, much uncertainty remains, with new variants of the virus and a fresh wave of shutdowns stretching from Europe to Canada.

It’s like a rotation of positive economic events, but with accompanying challenges.

In C2FO’s April 21 quarterly economic update webinar, J. Eric Kelley, executive VP and director of research and fixed income for UMB Bank, said almost everything about the US economy is moving in a positive direction. 

“The economy is rotating into a reopening phase. It’s slow, but it’s steady,” he said. “Of course, we’ve had a complete rotation in Washington to some new regimes, which there are some positives and negatives there. And inflation is rotating into focus, that’s for sure, and we want to talk about what the outlook is there. Long-term inflation can be an issue.” 

Where is this Great Rotation taking us, and how good should we feel about the economic rebound? 

Our webinar examines what the coming months might bring for the US economy. Kelley breaks down the latest variables like consumer confidence, labor statistics, interest rates and COVID-19 cases. Atkins shares C2FO’s unique perspective on how companies of all sizes are responding to the uncertain economic climate.

Discussion topics include:

  • Continued progress in the vaccine rollout and the number of COVID-19 cases, and how the trend continues to generally move in the right direction.
  • Increased mobility, travel and spending for consumers, and what that means for the retail and manufacturing sectors. 
  • Progress but continued “slack” in the unemployment rate. While unemployment is down to 6%, the labor force participation rate has fallen since the pandemic. 
  • New economic policies of the Biden Administration, including the $1.9 trillion stimulus, infrastructure spending and proposed tax rates for corporations and high-income individuals.
  • Inflation expectations, which have risen more than 100 basis points since the November election, and the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will eventually need to raise interest rates in 2022 or 2023.  

About the presenters

J. Eric Kelley has been with UMB Bank for more than 20 years, all of which he has spent in asset management. He is responsible for oversight of UMB’s research department and directs product development and strategy for the Fixed Income group. Eric also sits on the bank’s ALCO committee and Economic Research team.

Chris Atkins leads the C2FO Capital Finance team, which focuses on serving C2FO customers by fulfilling out-of-network capital needs via lending and factoring facilities. Before joining C2FO, Chris was a private equity and debt investor at Main Street Capital Corp. Previously, he worked in the banking industry as a regulator with the FDIC and an officer at FirstBank. Chris holds an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin and a BS in Finance from Liberty University. 

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