Intermediaries are becoming less fearful of the effects of inflation, and more favourable towards the UK’s economic outlook, according to the latest Baring Asset Management Investment Barometer.

When asked about the biggest global macro-economic challenges to investment growth in the next six months, just one in five (21%) intermediaries cited the risk of inflation – compared to a third (32%) in the previous quarterly Barometer.

Indeed, over the next three years, around half (53%) of intermediaries are anticipating the UK economy will predominantly experience inflation compared to nearly three in five (58%) when questioned previously. In terms of GDP growth, there was a slight fall around stagflation expectations with just over a third (36%) predicting stagflation (37% in the last Barometer).

Intermediaries have become slightly more positive towards UK equities with an overwhelming 87% of intermediaries saying they were ‘favourable’ or ‘very favourable’ towards the asset class contrasting against 86% in the last quarter.

Rod Aldridge, head of UK wholesale distribution at Barings, said: "Considering the uncertain environment in the Eurozone, it is unsurprising that intermediaries are still concerned about overall global economic health. However, in the UK there is a growing sense of optimism, culminating in more interest towards UK assets. Our research shows that the perhaps the shackles are loosening."

When the respondents were asked what they believed were the biggest macro-economic challenges to investment growth in the next six months, nearly half (47%) cited slowing growth in China. This was a significant increase from one in five (21%) intermediaries that selected this option in the previous Barometer. As a result favourability towards Asia equities (excluding Japan) fell from 97% to 84%

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However, recent volatility and concerns around the economic policies advocated by Shinz? Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, does not appear to have impacted on the favourability towards Japanese equities with 80% declaring themselves ‘favourable’ or ‘very favourable’ compared to 71% in the last Barometer.

Rod Aldridge said: "We predict that in the short-term, Asia is still likely to see higher levels of growth than Latin America and Eastern Europe, and that the short-term outlook for emerging markets is challenging given the reliance on exports to the West and a general lack of supply-side reform.