Environmental, Social and Governance issues (ESG) continue to grow in importance at the companies our analysts cover. Just over 70 per cent report that firms are increasing their emphasis on ESG policies, up 12 percentage points on last year. Still, a sizeable share of our analysts (39 per cent) say this is only the case for a minority of their companies, suggesting it’s not yet a concept that’s caught on everywhere.
Among the analysts of 10 sectors, only those in healthcare showed an improvement in sentiment from last year. Consumer discretionary and utilities analysts were the most pessimistic, being the only sectors expecting prospects for their companies to decline.
This year’s Fidelity Analyst Survey reveals a corporate landscape of retreating confidence and quiet positioning for lower growth. But while the age of optimism might be over for now, recession is not yet upon us.
Price moderation in some of the most overvalued housing markets is an encouraging sign that bubbles could deflate in a controlled manner, as it is due mostly to supply-side policy measures rather than to weakness in demand.