Global Market Outlook for 2018


December 11, 2017


2017 was a particularly strong year, with broad growth and low inflation creating an almost perfect environment for equity investors.

Technology was a significant part of that story. Bitcoin reached $17,000, an increase of over 1,600% since January 1. China, which is transforming into one of the most innovative countries in the world, had one of the most interesting runs we have seen for a while.

And there were other less obvious but notable areas of strong price action: Salvator Mundi, a painting of Christ by Leonardo da Vinci, sold for $450 million, and Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona was the most expensive watch ever sold at auction at about $18 million.

Because that kind of price action normally occurs further into a cycle, it is difficult not to think that we are near the end of something. But when we look at some of the themes dominating the markets in 2017, we are clearly at the beginning in many ways.

In William’s Blair’s annual presentation to clients and subsequent paper, Global Strategist Olga Bitel and Portfolio Manager Simon Fennell provided broader context.


In This Piece

    • Looking Back: 2017
    • The Technology Story: Structural and Here to Stay
    • Looking Ahead: Trade-off Between Interest Rates and Growth Less Favorable
    • The United States: Where to From Here?
    • China: From Smokestack to Labtech
    • Artificial Intelligence’s Coming of Age
    • Being Mindful as We Look Ahead


    Listen to the replay

    Read the paper


    This material is provided for information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice nor is it a recommendation to buy or sell any particular security. Any discussion of particular topics is not meant to be comprehensive and may be subject to change. Data shown does not represent the performance or characteristics of any William Blair product or strategy. Any investment or strategy mentioned herein may not be suitable for every investor. Factual information has been taken from sources we believe to be reliable, but its accuracy, completeness or interpretation cannot be guaranteed. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Information and opinions expressed are those of Olga Bitel and Simon Fennell as of December 7, 2017 and may not reflect the opinions of other investment teams within William Blair Investment Management, LLC or the investment management division of William Blair & Company, L.L.C. Information is current as of the date appearing in this material only and subject to change without notice.