The joy experienced by global and US business after US President Donald Trump’s 2017 corporate tax break has turned into fear due to his isolationist trade policies, at least according to Fidelity International analysts.
The new study shows that “almost half of all analysts globally say Trump’s policies will be a drag on their sector.” Compare this sentiment to just last year when the same Fidelity analysts reported broad optimism about US leadership and policies.
This year Fidelity says that “most significant is the shift among analysts covering North American companies, whose watchful optimism has entirely evaporated.”
Fidelity’s research is based on 16,000 interviews with chief executives and chief financial officers conducted by Fidelity International, the non-US affiliate of Fidelity Investments. Each year they ask 165 analysts what companies in the sector they cover are expecting for the up and coming year.
Most significant was the doubt Fidelity’s analysts had about Trump’s trade policies. Forty-five percent said the policies would be a burden on business, up from thirteen percent last year. Seventy percent of its China analysts predict that companies’ return on investment will go down in 2019. Only twenty-nine percent thought the same last year.
Global chief of research for fixed income for Fidelity said that “as expected, the impact of trade wars is a key issue amongst our analysts, which has brought a lot of uncertainty into the system.”