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Market Views - Economic Outlook 2014

Outlook 2014


The global economy is expanding, but the growth rate remains sub-par. Euro zone technocrats, ever-willing to sacrifice proven capitalist economics, push for higher taxes and excessive regulations that enshrine bureaucracy. However, this swamps economic revitalization. Meanwhile, China's reform-minded leaders fight epic battles to make China more competitive and productive. Japan embarks on a very risky course of Quantitative Easing and excessive sales taxes without any real economic reforms. Latin America faces a raft of problems: low commodity prices, protective practices and a return of socialist programs.

Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and other Asian countries have strong current account surpluses, high literacy rates and growing productivity. We see opportunities in emerging markets that have been unduly punished in 2013 and are at bargain prices. The United Kingdom has surprised many, at least the social-democrats on the European continent, with stronger than expected growth and offers some opportunity. Ireland's low tax rates continue to pay off.
Positives Negatives
Positive Favor Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong stock markets Negative Global growth hampered by austerity measures, high taxes, excessive regulations
Positive Chinese stocks to prosper if Xi Jinping's reforms are implemented Negative Commodity prices still correcting, pressuring many Latin American stocks
Positive Favor U.K. stocks Negative Japan's Quantitative Easing creates huge risks for the global economy – avoid
Positive Some foreign markets have attractive earnings yield along with GDP growth Negative Euro zone recovery is very sluggish, hampering some emerging markets
Positive Volatile African stocks show potential Negative Rising external financing costs slow emerging market growth
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Economic Outlook


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You should carefully consider the investment objectives, potential risks, management fees, and charges and expenses of the Fund before investing. The Fund's prospectus contains this and other information about the Fund, and should be read carefully before investing. You may obtain a current copy of the Fund's prospectus by calling 1-800-995-2637 or click here to view or download a prospectus online.

Mid, Small and Micro Cap investing involve greater risk not associated with investing in more established companies, such as greater price volatility, business risk, less liquidity and increased competitive threat. Fund holdings and sector weightings are subject to change without notice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
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