2023 – A tale of resilience amidst mounting challenges

InCred Wealth December 28, 2023

As we bid farewell to the closing chapter of 2023, it is time to reflect on the economic nuances, investment landscapes, and market oscillations that defined the past year, on both global and domestic scales.

The biggest fear, as we prepared to enter 2023, had revolved around the possibility of a global economic slowdown, precipitated by the high interest rate regime being undertaken by central bankers across the world. The 2022-2023 period witnessed an unprecedented quantitative tightening cycle in the US, with the Federal Reserve hiking the rate 11 times, thereby taking the federal funds rate from 0.25-0.50% to 5.25-5.50% . The move, aimed at controlling sticky inflation, was copied across global economies, thereby triggering fears of a slowdown. Concerns were further exacerbated given geopolitical strife in both the Middle East and the Russia-Ukraine region, with equity markets nose-diving in the aftermath of the Israel-Hamas war.

However, even as the Eurozone and China did witness economic weakness, both the US and Indian economies remained resilient, continuing on their growth trajectories. Accordingly, the equity markets have managed to end the final stretch in the green, especially buoyed by the expectations of multiple rate cuts in the new year. The debt markets have also maintained their appeal, given their safe haven status as well as the currently high yields, with investors keen on locking in returns before the rates, and thereby, yields, invariably tend downwards. Considering the ongoing geopolitical strife, commodities like gold and silver also witnessed robust uptick in 2023, thus ensuring a largely positive year for investors across asset classes.

On the domestic front, both the Sensex and the Nifty scaled all-time peaks in 2023, bolstered by a number of positives such as the underlying strength and resilience of the Indian economy, in the face of numerous challenges, the continued might of the domestic growth story as well as the country’s impressive performance as the G20 president. From displaying its political finesse in driving a consensus on offering the African Union a seat at the G20 table, to pushing forward future-ready agendas such as the Digital Public Infrastructure and imperative climate measures, India’s G20 presidency has been hailed as exemplary by global leaders. Towards the end of the year, investors, and consequently the market, received a fillip from the ruling party’s decisive victory in state elections, an event portending the incumbent’s return to power in 2024.

Heading into 2024, we are perched at the beginning of India’s next growth cycle, which will be led by sectors like consumption, infrastructure and manufacturing, given the government’s continued commitment to flagship initiatives such as Make in India and AatmaNirbhar Bharat. Further, with the interest rates likely to come down in 2024, we expect the equity market, and consumption segments, to witness robust uptick as people continue to pursue affluent lifestyles. With India forecasted to become the third-largest economy, in terms of GDP, by 2027 , the upcoming year will be decisive in furthering the country’s glittering growth narrative, making this the most opportune time to capitalise on the potential.


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