Viewpoints by Frances Donald, at Manulife Investment Management
Frances forecasts global macroeconomic and financial trends, analyzes the economy and capital markets for potential opportunities and risks, and serves as a thought leader both within the firm and externally. As a senior member of the firm’s multi-asset solutions team, she coordinates global macro research, assists in the team’s return forecasting process, and contributes to portfolio positioning views.
Prior to joining Manulife, Frances worked as a financial economist for Scotiabank in Toronto, and before that as a global macro analyst for Pavilion Global Markets in Montreal. Earlier in her career, she held various positions at Deloitte, Roubini Global Economics, and Bank of Canada. Frances is a frequent public speaker and regularly appears in international media.
Education: B.A., Economics, Queen’s University; M.A., Economics, New York University
Joined the company: 2016
Began career: 2008
Known unknowns: Three-minute macro
We're in an environment ripe with significant uncertainties that reduce visibility and make it difficult to have high conviction. Banking fragilities continue and the debt ceiling drama will be harmful to growth, no matter how it resolves. Meanwhile, we’re keeping an eye on European equities, which we think are losing their shine.Read more
The signals and the noise: Three-minute macro
With such a strong job market, how can a recession possibly be in the works? Our answer lies in some troubling leading indicators for growth. At the same time, we think oil’s importance in inflation means some reprieve for the Consumer Price Index in the future. Finally, we note that central banks’ bias toward rate hikes may mean more cuts down the road.Read more
Is the Fed as dovish as the market thinks it is?
Concerns about the strength of the global financial system have led to a significant shift in market expectations of when the U.S. Federal Reserve might start lowering interest rates. Has the market been too optimistic?Read more
Three questions for the Fed in the lead-up to its March meeting
Fears that financial stress in the system could morph into a banking crisis have sparked speculation that the Fed might make a dovish pivot at its March meeting. We take a closer look.Read more
A framework for navigating a massive uncertainty shock
The closure of tech-focused lenders in the United States has left investors on tenterhooks even as policymakers work hard to contain potential spillover effects. Find out how recent events could affect the U.S. economy.Read more
2023 Q1 Global Macro Outlook—The Year Ahead
We expect 2023 to be a year of two halves: H1 could be defined by a material slowdown in growth as the effects of aggressive monetary tightening kick in, while H2 could see an easing in macroeconomic conditions. Read our economic growth forecast for 2023.Read more
Q4 2022 Global Macro Outlook
Rising inflation, enduring supply chain disruptions, and rising uncertainty—hardly a strong start to 2022; however, our macroeconomic strategy team believes that global growth prospects will become brighter as the year progresses.Read more
Time to deliver: Three-minute macro
Delivery times for products are improving, which should help ease inflation pressures. But a hawkish Bank of Canada has us keeping an eye on the housing market, while we think the European equity market is underpricing risk there.Read more
Under pressure: Three-minute macro
This month, we note that the equity risk premium isn’t indicating a growth slowdown in the near future (despite our views to the contrary), while also cautioning that fewer people may be heading back to the office than we suspect many are hoping for. Finally, we look at how the Federal Reserves aggressive policy trajectory might affect Asia.Read more
Will the Fed's approach to interest-rate hikes trigger a U.S. recession?
Concerns about recession risks are rising amid seemingly persistent inflation and rising interest rates. Find out to what extent these fears are warranted.Read more