Get ready for a ‘substantial’ slowdown in the US economy, investment bank predicts


One investment bank is urging investors to prepare for the U.S. economy to roll over as early as 2018.

“The US economy will in all likelihood slow down substantially: there is a limit to the rise in the participation rate and the employment rate; real wages are slowing down,” wrote Patrick Artus, chief economist at Natixis, on Tuesday. “Investors should therefore prepare for the consequences.”

Consequences of this slowdown, notes Artus, include a brief rise in interest rates, a market sell-off and a depreciating dollar.

Natixis is a French corporate and investment bank headquartered in Paris. Natixis Global Asset Management oversees roughly $950 billion, according to its website.

The analyst also called the current level of corporate investment “abnormally high” and suggested a downward correction.

To be sure, the more mainstream investment banks on Wall Street are not nearly as pessimistic. Wall Street foresees a positive 2.5 percent change in GDP in the third quarter year over year, according to the consensus estimate collected by Thomson Reuters. The Bureau of Economic Analysis will release GDP number on Friday before the bell.

And none of the major banks see a recession on the horizon.

The American people are even more bullish. According to CNBC’s All-American Economic Survey, optimism about the economy hit an all-time high earlier this month. Forty-three percent of the public believes the economy is in excellent or good condition while the four-quarter average for every major economic metric in the poll is at a record 10-year high.

Goldman Sachs is probably the most bearish on the U.S. economy among major firms, predicting 3.9 percent annual global growth through 2020, but that U.S. growth will decelerate to just 1.5 percent annually over that time.

Economic growth has been a hot topic in national politics as well. President Donald Trump has repeatedly touted the 3 percent growth target as a cornerstone of his economic plan, calling for new tax cuts to push output higher.

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan told CNBC in September that “You’re not going to get 3 percent [economic] growth in 2018 if you don’t get [tax reform] done in 2017.”

Natixis has a warning for clients in the note, “If US growth slows down markedly … equity valuation and share prices will start falling.”

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