Jan 24

S&P500 vs Inflation vs PE Ratio over 97 years

The above chart shows the 10 year performance of the S&P500 (blue bars) versus the 10 year average annual inflation (red bars) versus the Shiller PE Ratio at the start of each decade (green bars). There are several notable observations…

  • The worst performance was during the 1930s when the US experienced a deflationary environment and PE ratio started very high
  • The second worse performance occurred 2000-2009 when PE Ratios started through the roof (> 40) and contracted
  • Other poor performances typically related to high inflation (1913-1919; 1970-1979) and/or PE ratio contraction (1940-1949)

So what do we start 2010-2019 with? A very high Shiller PE Ratio (~20.1), third highest to the start of the Great Depression and Tech Wreck/GFC decades. And, an outlook for inflation that is relatively low due to the very high unemployment that is expected to stay around for some time. The US economy has just seen an economic bounce largely on the back of inventories that are being built back up but this is not a sustainable growth driver and certainly from a sharemarket perspective not a justification for a high PE.

Whislt the US Economy recivers for decent sharemarket returns there needs to be some stronger growth drivers and what these drivers will be is a little unclear.

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