As the U.S. stock market officially entered a bear market, investor gloom continues to grow as global profit expectations and fears of stagflation reach the highest point since 2008, according to the results of Bank of America's June Global Fund Manager Survey.
Of the 300 surveyed fund managers, which oversee a total of $834 billion in assets, expectations of global growth were at a net -73% in June, down from a net -72% in May and reaching a new lowest level in the history of the survey.
A global recession tops the list as the biggest tail risk for managers at 25% (previously 27% in May), followed by hawkish central bank rate increases at 23% (previously 31% in May), inflation at 22% (up from 18% in May), a systemic credit event at 9% (up from 7% in May), the Russia-Ukraine conflict at 6% (previously 10% in May), COVID-19 at 3% (up from 1% in May) and cryptocurrencies at 1% (no result in April).
Also, a net 72% among survey respondents expect global profits to decline over the next month, the most since October 2008 and up from a net 66% in May.
When asked how they see the global economy trending over the next 12 months, 83% said they expect stagflation (below-trend growth and above-trend inflation), which was up from 77% in May and represented the highest percentage since June 2008.
Also according to the survey, investors' macro concerns caused them to stop forecasting further rate hikes from the Federal Reserve, leading to a month-over-month fall in cash levels to 5.6% in June from 6.1% in May. Cash levels had surged in that month from 5.5% in April, the highest level since September 2001 following the 9/11 terrorist attack.
Only 12% of fund managers expect a global economic boom (above-trend growth and inflation) over the next 12 months, down from 17% in May.
In addition, a net 48% of respondents said they are currently taking lower-than-normal risk levels, up from a net 49% in May.
Asset allocation to U.S. equities fell to a net 15% underweight in June's survey from 13% underweight in May. The allocation had been a net 6% overweight in April and as high as a net 55% overweight as recently as January following a peak of a net 62% overweight in April 2021.
Managers were surveyed between June 3 and June 10.