According to economists at Goldman Sachs, the widespread adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) software has the potential to drive a full decade of productivity growth. This, in turn, would have a profound impact on financial markets, with stocks emerging as the primary beneficiary. In their recent note, Goldman Sachs lays out the expected ramifications of AI on markets.
Boosting Annual Productivity Growth
The economists predict that machine-generated intelligence could significantly elevate annual productivity growth in the United States and other major economies, potentially increasing it by as much as 1.5 percentage points. This scale of improvement is comparable to two major historical productivity booms witnessed since 1900: the introduction of electricity and the subsequent combination of personal computers and the internet.
Positive Outlook for Stocks
As a result of the projected AI-driven productivity boost, stocks are likely to experience an upward trajectory. The enhanced outlook for U.S. gross domestic product and corporate profits should propel this rise. However, whether the AI-related productivity enhancement is anticipated or comes as a surprise will play a crucial role in determining the extent of stock market growth.
Ripple Effects on Currencies and Commodity Prices
Goldman Sachs’ senior markets advisor, Dominic Wilson, and researcher Vickie Chang highlight that along with stocks, the U.S. dollar and other major developed-market currencies may also benefit, albeit indirectly. Furthermore, they anticipate a long-term upward trend in commodity prices.
Uncertain Impact on Interest-Rate Markets
While the effects of AI on currency and commodity markets can be predicted with some level of certainty, its influence on interest-rate markets is more ambiguous.
In conclusion, the adoption of AI holds immense potential for driving unprecedented productivity growth. Stocks are expected to be the primary beneficiaries, presenting a lucrative opportunity for investors. The impact on currency markets and commodity prices is also likely to be positive. However, the precise consequences for interest-rate markets are still uncertain.
The Potential Impact of AI on Financial Markets
The potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionize productivity has been widely acknowledged. However, there are certain constraints that may limit the extent of its impact in boosting equities. In a recent note, Wilson and Chang highlighted these limitations.
According to Wilson and Chang, while a large productivity boost may lead to a significant increase in GDP and earnings, the practical implications for U.S. equities may be less substantial. They argue that even with a sizable AI-driven boost, the upside for U.S. stocks is unlikely to exceed 10-15%. This is due to historical precedents wherein valuation limits were violated during periods of sustained productivity booms, resulting in large bubbles.
This observation raises concerns about potential bubble dynamics associated with AI-fueled productivity booms. Wilson and Chang suggest that such booms may be prone to exaggerated market activity and increased risk. Therefore, the manner in which an AI-driven productivity boom unfolds will have significant implications for financial markets.
Importantly, the anticipation of such a boom is crucial. If market participants expect it, they are more likely to reprice equities ahead of time, causing gains to be pulled forward. On the other hand, if productivity growth continues to surprise investors, companies, consumers, and policymakers alike, stock market gains will likely accrue gradually. This poses a risk that the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy might remain tighter than necessary.
Moreover, Goldman Sachs suggests that AI-powered productivity booms will likely benefit developed markets like the U.S. more than emerging markets. Consequently, currencies originating from developed countries are expected to appreciate earlier and to a greater magnitude compared to their emerging market counterparts. Furthermore, Goldman Sachs notes that commodity markets could see upward pressure on prices over time, as global demand strengthens.
In summary, while AI has the potential to greatly enhance productivity and significantly impact financial markets, there are important constraints and considerations that need to be taken into account. The magnitude of the impact on equities, the potential for market bubbles, and the differing effects on currency and commodity markets all depend on various factors that are yet to unfold.
Thursday’s Focus: U.S. Labor Market Strength and Federal Reserve’s Policy Announcement
Financial markets on Thursday turned their attention to assessing the ongoing strength of the U.S. labor market and its potential influence on the Federal Reserve’s policy announcement scheduled for next Wednesday.
In New York afternoon trading, stocks experienced a mixed performance. While the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) made a modest gain of 0.72%, both the S&P 500 (SPX) and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) faced marginal declines of -0.35% and -1.44% respectively.
Impact on Treasury Yields
Simultaneously, Treasury yields across various maturity periods observed an upward movement. Yields ranging from three-month to thirty-year durations experienced an increase, with the 30-year Treasury yield (TMUBMUSD30Y) reaching 3.910%.
These developments suggest that market participants are closely evaluating the labor market’s robustness and its potential implications for the Federal Reserve’s upcoming policy announcement.