Welcome to the Hancock and Whitney Bank Economic Update. The Investments team provides monthly updates as an informational resource for clients and individuals who are interested in hearing our perspectives on current economic issues.
Here's what we cover on this month's call:
- David Lundgren leads off with an update on the current state of the economy. The 2nd Quarter GDP finished at 3.1% and indications are that the 3rd Quarter is estimated to land in the 2.5%-3% range.
- John Portwood expands on Lundgren’s update and explains that the 3rd Quarter GDP was stronger than expected, even with the blows dealt to the economy by recent hurricanes. He also expressed his thoughts on deflation with corporations and their pricing power, and gives a brief outlook for the 4th Quarter.
- Austin Zaunbrecher says that a tough year in the energy sector has turned around quickly over the last few weeks. In a major reversal, sentiment has turned positive with tightening inventories, slower U.S. production growth, and robust global demand. However, even with 20% plus returns in E&P and service companies, stocks remain down 20% YTD. We’re keeping an eye on U.S. production numbers, rig counts, and futures pricing going forward. Weakness in the dollar and geopolitical crises could strengthen oil prices.
- Richard Chauvin talks about tax reform. There could be a possible pro-investment reform in the tax code that would help lower business tax rates. He does not see a big tax cut, but one that would be implemented over time. From an investing perspective, there is evidence in the market that the odds of the tax reform happening are higher than a few weeks ago.
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