Advisor confidence in the economy and the stock market rose in January, according to Rydex SGI AdvisorBenchmarking.

The Adviser Confidence Index rose 3% to 109.68 from a month earlier. This is a 27% improvement from where the index stood a year ago, when advisers had a firmly negative stance on the market and economic outlooks.

The Adviser Confidence Index, which had bounced back in December, continued to advance in January, as the U.S. economy showed signs of improvement.

“This is the strongest economic recovery since the early 80s, so it is no surprise to see the stock market doing so well,” said Bill Ramsay, an adviser at Financial Symmetry Inc.

Advisers said that concerns remain over economic issues such as employment and budget deficits.

Ramsay said that that the big question for this year is “whether we will get a successful hand-off from government stimulus to private sector demand. This could lead to a surprising rise in interest rates if the hand-off is more successful than expected.”

George Cheatham, an advisor at American Financial Consultants Inc., expects the economy to “limp along at best through the first half of” this year “while the world economy may fare a little better with the emerging market countries leading the way.

“The lack of job growth in the United States will keep any recovery muted due to continued subdued consumer spending,” he said. “However, consolidation within various industry sectors may prove to keep the equity markets in positive territory, especially with no movement upward for interest rates for the foreseeable future.:

Rydex SGI AdvisorBenchmarking, which released its data Monday, is a research and analysis center focused on the registered investment advisor marketplace. Its survey examines adviser confidence on a monthly basis.


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