Woodford Says Economy Doesn't Support "Wave of Optimism"

Top U.K. fund manager Neil Woodford sees a “wave of optimism” among stock investors, and says it may be unjustified given the state of the global economy.

“The current wave of optimism sweeping global stock markets assumes that the developed world will now emerge from the period of low economic growth it has faced since the banking crisis of 2008,” Woodford wrote in a recent monthly update, according to Citywire.co.uk. “Our view is that it will not, and that growth will continue to disappoint and, in the near term, will slow in 2012.”

Woodford says growth will likely remain sluggish in the near-term, and he believes recovery from the 2008 financial crisis may still be some way off, Citywire reports. He does think some companies will be able to thrive in a low-growth environment, however, and he’s currently high on pharmaceutical firms like GlaxoSmithKline.