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These Terms of Use ("Terms of Use") are made between the undersigned user ("you") and Lord, Abbett & Co. ("we" or "us"). They become effective on the date that you electronically execute these Terms of Use ("Effective Date").

A. You are a successful financial consultant that markets securities, including the Lord Abbett Family of Funds;

B. We have developed the Lord Abbett Intelligence System (the "Intelligence System"), a state of the art information resource that we make available to a limited community of broker/dealers through the Internet at a secure Web site (the "LAIS Site"); and

C. We wish to provide access to the Intelligence System to you as an information tool responsive to the demands of your successful business pursuant to these Terms of Use. Accordingly, you and we, intending to be legally bound, hereby agree as follows:]

1. Overview. · Scope. These Terms of Use (which we may amend from time to time) govern your use of the Intelligence System. · Revisions; Changes. We may amend these Terms of Use at any time by posting amended Terms of Use ("Amended Terms of Use") on the LAIS Site. Any Amended Terms of Use will become effective immediately upon posting. Your use of the Intelligence System after any Amended Terms of Use become effective will be deemed to constitute your acceptance of those Amended Terms of Use.We may modify or discontinue the Intelligence System at any time, temporarily or permanently, with or without notice to you. Purpose of the Intelligence System. The Intelligence System is intended to be an information resource that you may use to contribute to your business research. The Intelligence System is for broker/dealer use only; it is not to be used with the public in oral, written or electronic form. The information on the Intelligence System and LAIS Site is for your information only and is neither the tax, legal or investment advice of Lord Abbett or its third-party sources nor their recommendation to purchase or sell any security.

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Economic Insights

Here’s a look at how the United States, the eurozone, and China are endeavoring to boost growth in the second quarter of 2016. 

 

In Brief

  • Now that the second quarter has begun, how are central banks and governments in the United States, the eurozone, and China trying to strengthen their economies?
  • In the United States, U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers, citing global concerns, have opted to emphasize economic growth and slow the pace of interest-rate hikes.
  • In the eurozone, aggressive stimulus efforts by the European Central Bank are aimed at boosting lending in order to foster increased economic activity.
  • In China, policymakers will use a mix of tax cuts, interest-rate reductions, and government spending, while maintaining a cautious pace in implementing economic reforms.
  • The key takeaway—Any positive result from the efforts of these economic giants to bolster growth could help support investments globally.

 

With the second quarter of 2016 just underway, what should investors be watching for in the world’s major economies? Here, we survey the factors that could influence the performance of economies in the United States, the eurozone, and China.

United States: A Supportive Fed
Comments by some U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) officials during March 2016 suggest some disagreement among members within the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed’s policy-arm, on the appropriate pace of interest-rate hikes. But Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen provided clear guidance in a speech on March 29 that the central bank’s policy will err on the dovish side. Despite steady U.S. job growth, recent increases in wage inflation, and expectations that stabilization in oil and the U.S. dollar will help tilt inflation toward the central bank’s 2% target, the trajectory of future Fed rate hikes was sharply reduced because of its concerns about “global economic and financial developments.” Investors can take comfort in Yellen’s description of policy risks as asymmetric, allowing ready flexibility “if economic conditions were to strengthen considerably more than expected,” contrasted with more limited options if the expansion were to falter. 

The bottom line for investors is that the Fed has realigned its policies and its projections toward economic growth, a shift that seems unlikely to change quickly. A solid March employment report supports continued progress toward the Fed’s characterization of full employment in the U.S. economy, but at a slow enough pace to justify delaying a rate hike until at least June, and possibly later. A Fed policy that supports growth builds confidence in economic strength and, ultimately, the risk assets that should perform well in an improving growth scenario.

Eurozone: Looking for a QE Boost
In the eurozone, European Central Bank (ECB) policy is also likely to provide support for economic expansion in the second quarter of 2016 and beyond. Expansion of quantitative easing (QE) should boost credit markets, and the resulting lower interest rates should promote financing of all kinds, extending even to mortgage lending and auto loans. The ECB’s second round of targeted long-term refinancing operations (TLTRO II) should promote lending as well as bank profitability. The popularity of TLTRO I with Spanish and Italian banks suggests that the second version, whereby banks are further motivated to increase lending, could be meaningfully beneficial to banks of peripheral Europe. Increased availability of credit, when added to recent improvements in the labor market, could fuel consumer spending on durable goods and housing, putting well within reach the ECB’s forecasts for gross domestic product growth of 1.4% in 2016 and 1.7% in 2017 for the eurozone.

While the longer-term consequences of negative interest rates and other ECB policies may be less constructive, ECB president Mario Draghi seems to have “done what it takes” to support the economy and risky assets in the second quarter and the balance of 2016.

China: Balancing Growth and Reform
Policies in China should continue to support consumption and economic growth during the second quarter of 2016, even though longer-term imbalances may continue to build. The hard landing that was feared by many investors now seems to be delayed, if not altogether avoided, along with deployment of the disruptive policy tool of significant yuan devaluation. Growth in coming months will be encouraged by government tax cuts, interest-rate cuts from the People’s Bank of China, and accelerated infrastructure spending. In addition, the government has begun to address nonperforming loans through programs in which bad loans are removed from lenders’ balance sheets via transfer to another entity, or are converted into equity.

Private consumption remains strong, particularly in the service sector. However, longer-term problems remain. Banks face increased nonperforming loans and accompanying profit pressures. These conditions will be exacerbated if efforts are made to shut down excess capacity in the coal, steel, and cement industries. Leverage also is inflating property prices in major cities, while unsold inventory pressures prices lower in tier-two cities (which typically are coastal cities and the capitals of provinces; tier-one cities are those such as Beijing and Shanghai). 

We expect that the self-preservation priorities of the government will prompt officials to proceed slowly with reforms that may compromise growth, such as cutting excess capacity and forcing deleveraging, while concentrating on programs and incentives to create jobs and promote consumption. Avoidance of controversial policies, combined with some success in maintaining economic growth, should assuage investors and support appetite for risky assets in China in the coming months.

Summing Up
The global environment for investments in the second quarter of 2016 will be shaped by U.S. monetary policy, the prospect of economic improvement in the eurozone, and a mix of government and central bank actions in China. While China has avoided both a hard landing and disruptive policy mistakes, supportive monetary policies and persistent, if underwhelming, economic improvement in the eurozone and the United States should help support investments globally, especially economically sensitive assets.

 

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