How deep is your L,U,V.

Posted by Mark on 21st Nov 2008
No, not the classic Bee Gees hit from 1977, masterfully reworked by Take That in 1996, but a question of how deep and what shape will the recession be?

Will we bounce in and out, the classic "V" shape, as most economists predict? Or will we scrape along the bottom for a while, before a vertiginous recovery?

Clearly "L" is the ugly option with no recovery n sight.

The answer, I'm sure, won't be simple, hopefully the general economy will follow a "V" shape as a result of the governments massive fiscal and monetary easing.

Housing and commodities could well be a "U". New supply in housing and investment in capacity of commodities has fallen off a cliff as their price has plummeted, there might be no swift recovery, but once demand does recover, in line with the general economy and the slack taken up, the lack of new building or investment in refineries, say, could lead to a sharp recovery in asset prices.

But what of commercial property investment?

People in the industry forget that this is a discretionary activity and a case for it, especially in light of its recent catastrophic performance, will need to be made again, based on no guaranteed yield compression, low gearing and poor rental growth.

Until that case is compellingly made, we could be in for a "L" of a time.

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