US Economy

Goldman: US economy to flounder while rest of globe booms

Key Points
  • Goldman predicts 3.9 percent annual global growth through 2020, but believes GDP in the U.S. will decelerate to just 1.5 percent.
  • The firm identified for clients 50 stocks best suited for this kind of environment.

The global economy is set to enjoy steady growth with one notable exception, according to a note from Goldman Sachs out Tuesday morning.

The firm's portfolio strategy research team calls for 3.9 percent annual global growth through 2020, but believes GDP in the U.S. will decelerate to just 1.5 percent.

The U.S. Commerce Department's official figure had U.S. growth at 3.1 percent after the second quarter of this year – the last quarter for which statistics are available.

President Donald Trump has made 3 percent economic growth a key part of his administration's bar for success, but if Goldman's prediction is right, he has his work cut out for him. The note also comes at a time when the administration and congressional Republicans are trying to formulate a tax cut plan that they hope will stimulate the American economy more than the rest of the globe.

The firm identified 50 stocks best suited for this kind of global economic environment.

"Growth typically outperforms value in periods of solid but unspectacular activity" because "investors place a premium on growth stocks that are able to expand their top-line despite modest economic growth," according to the note.

Using what it calls its "rule of 10," the firm found the most growth potential in the consumer discretionary and tech sectors. Criteria for Goldman's "rule of 10" include growth of at least 10 percent in the last two years along with growth forecasts of at least 10 percent in 2017 and 2018. In order to qualify the company must also have a market cap of at least $2 billion.

Despite GDP concerns, 46 percent of the stocks identified by Goldman Sachs are global-oriented but U.S.-based companies, "reflecting a high number of innovative, fast growing technology companies" the note said. Twenty-eight percent of the stocks on the list are Chinese companies.

Some of the notable U.S. companies making Goldman's top 50 list include Amazon, Tesla, Red Hat, which is up 40 percent in six months, and Ulta Beauty, which has suffered a 27 percent fall in the same time period. Expedia and Wayfair also made the list.

Source: Five Below

One surprising U.S. stock identified by Goldman Sachs is retailer Five Below, which is up 25 percent in three months.

Only two stocks in the energy sector made the top 50, Gulfport Energy and PDC Energy, both U.S. based.

The biggest Chinese companies picked by Goldman Sachs are both Nasdaq-listed internet companies. has soared 51 percent this year. Momo is up 71 percent in the same time period. Those two stocks also have the most upside from their current prices to Goldman's targets, 76 percent for Momo and 44 percent for