December 13, 2019 | Whitepaper

Our 2020 outlook

Get Vanguard's take on the global economy, monetary policy, inflation issues, and the investment outlook for 2020 and beyond, including:

  • How an increasingly unpredictable policy environment and continuing trade tensions are undermining economic activity globally.
  • How global growth may slow further but why we're a long way from a serious global contraction.
  • Why slowing global growth and elevated uncertainty create a fragile backdrop for markets in 2020 and beyond.

High uncertainty often coincides with high volatility

Investors can expect market noise in 2020

Chart showing that episodes of uncertainty are associated with higher levels of volatility.

Notes: Fair-value volatility range is calculated with an Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression using Vanguard's leading economic indicator index (VLEI), financial conditions index (VFCI), and policy uncertainty index as independent variables. Volatility is measured as the standard deviation of daily returns of the S&P 500 index on a 30-day rolling time period, annualized. The forecasted range of volatility for 2020 is based on Vanguard's economic projections.

Sources: Vanguard calculations, based on data from Thomson Reuters Datastream and

This year, you can get Vanguard's outlook in two ways.


  • All investing is subject to risk, including possible loss of principal.