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April 9, 2024

Inaugural Quarterly Investment Newsletter – Q1 2024



The resolution of pandemic effects and successful monetary policy has led inflation downward toward the Federal Reserve’s long-term 2% target. It’s likely the Fed will start lowering rates in 2024, supporting an already robust labor market. Still, the lagging effects of rate hikes will be felt as consumers grapple with debt and housing affordability. These challenges could be offset by artificial intelligence-led productivity gains.


Consumer Challenges Ahead

  • Credit card balances are high, and excess savings have been mostly depleted. Despite higher borrowing costs, consumers continue to spend and are now facing high interest payments on loans.

Housing Market Upended

  • In 2023, higher interest rates created an inventory shortage and pushed home prices higher. Although mortgage rates have declined, it will take time for housing affordability to return to historical norms.

Election Uncertainty

  • While markets generally perform well in election years, market leadership can be fluid, especially when candidates have fundamentally different policy agendas.

Election Uncertainty

  • The prospect of lower interest rates has inspired high optimism, which may drive volatility if reality falls short of expectations.


Economic Soft Landing

  • As inflation wanes to pre-pandemic levels without having spurred a recession, a soft landing seems likely. Fed rate cuts and a lower inflationary environment could drive economic growth.

Inflation-Adjusted Wage Growth

  • Real wage growth remained positive in 2023, leaving consumers better positioned to tackle rising debt.

Productivity-Fueled Growth

  • The potential for operational efficiency and revenue enhancement has driven heavy investment in artificial intelligence across industries. Widespread implementation over the next decade has the potential to boost productivity growth above long-term averages, thereby increasing gross domestic product (GDP).

Uptick in Government Funding

  • Funds from programs targeting infrastructure and clean energy will be deployed in 2024, adding liquidity to the economy.


Questions about the U.S. consumer will be the primary focus of 2024, given the rise in credit card debt, the decline in excess personal savings, and the resumption of student loan payments. However, additional known unknowns could have an outsized impact on the economic landscape. Commercial real estate borrowers face a wall of maturities that will likely need refinancing, and national elections are scheduled in 2024 for countries representing 60% of global GDP.

Sources: Federal Reserve Board, “Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Lending – October 2023;” CRED iQ, Bloomberg, Allianz, CAPTRUST Research

Approximately 65% of respondents to the Fed’s “Senior Loan Officer Survey” projected tightening lending standards on multifamily and other commercial real estate loans in 2024. Nearly $700 billion in U.S. commercial real estate debt matures in 2024, with banks holding the largest outstanding share. U.S. regulators note that commercial real estate is the leading risk to financial stability.

Sources: Federal Reserve Board, “Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Lending – October 2023;” CRED iQ, Bloomberg, Allianz, CAPTRUST Research

While the U.S. presidential election will undoubtedly garner the most attention, pundits predict more voters will participate in national elections in 2024 than any year in history. This uptick has the potential to reshape the global economic and geopolitical landscapes. Geopolitical hot spots Taiwan, Russia, Ukraine, and Pakistan are all scheduled to elect new leaders in 2024. A national election in Mexico could impact near-shoring and immigration policies.

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