FireSide: Q4 2023 Research roundtable—Can the growth continue?

Our experts dive in to the latest in commercial real estate, corporate credit and macroeconomic trends.

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October 20, 2023 | 39 minute read

About this episode:

Even with unanswered questions about a potential slowdown, the Q4 economy is largely firing on all cylinders. Commercial real estate continues to navigate a unique correction, while rising stock/bond correlation helps corporate credit shine.

Can the growth continue? Join Lara Rhame, Chief US Economist, Robert Hoffman, Managing Director, Credit Wealth Solutions, and Andrew Korz, Director, Investment Research as they dive into their outlooks for commercial real estate, corporate credit and macroeconomic trends.

Transcript excerpt:

Lara Rhame (00:05): Welcome back to Fireside, a podcast from FS Investments. My name is Lara Rhame, and it’s time for another of our favorite episodes: the quarterly research roundup. Today I’m joined by the experts, Rob Hoffman, who you just heard is our head of credit wealth solutions and our thought leader on all things credit. And Andrew Korz, the director on the research team who informs our commercial real estate views and analysis. So welcome.

Rob Hoffman (00:37): Happy to be here.

Lara Rhame (00:38): First, I want to acknowledge that we’re recording on October 11, 2023, and it’s important to acknowledge the terrible events that occurred just several days ago in Israel and are ongoing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Israeli people, and we hope that if you have family or friends in Israel, they are safe and in good health.

And I also acknowledge this because markets are moving fast, and so many of the market and economic themes we discuss in our outlooks and today on this podcast are longer term—but of course many of them have been impacted by these recent attacks.

So, with that in mind, the structure that we often do to kick this off is taking a quick look back at the third quarter, and I’ll fall on the sword first. And I’m the only one that has to fall on the sword in this room because you guys are looking great. When we read back on your third quarter outlook–

Rob Hoffman (01:34): What’s harder being a chief economist or a weatherman?

Lara Rhame (01:39): Yeah, I feel like I’d rather read a teleprompter and point to a green screen some days. So, the Q3 outlook, I called it “Sailing into a slowdown,” and that was wrong in the third quarter, in fact, still early days, but Q3 real GDP growth looks like it may be north of 4%. And the Atlanta Fed Nowcast has 4.9% as its GDP now indicator. And I think what we have continued to see is an economy that is truly firing on all cylinders, strong household consumption, strong investment spending, [and] government spending.

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Andrew Korz, CFA

Executive Director, Investment Research

Lara Rhame

Chief U.S. Economist + Managing Director

Robert Hoffman, CFA

Managing Director, Credit Wealth Solutions