The global economy is looking less gloomy than it did only weeks ago. It still may not have the stamina to extend a recovery that’s showing signs of age.
A number of recent developments are stoking optimism. The Federal Reserve hit pause on interest-rate hikes and other central banks delivered stimulus. Trade negotiations between the U.S. and China appear to be inching toward an end to the trade war. And keys gauges of factory strength in China and the U.S. strengthened in March, allaying worries those economies were hitting a weak patch.
Investors like what they see. Global stocks have surged nearly 14 percent this year, according to the MSCI world equities index. The rally has erased much of the fear that gripped markets in December, when stocks plunged almost 8 percent and analysts speculated the global economy might be on the precipice of a recession.