It appears a number of sell-side shops are catching on to just how unprecedentedly low VIX was in Q1, as we noted first here.
Despite a quarter characterized by elevated policy uncertainty and an intense focus on tax reform, infrastructure spending and deregulation, U.S. equities had one of their lowest volatility quarters on record.
As Goldman notes, the average VIX level in Q1 was 11.69, the lowest first quarter in VIX history. Low volatility levels were persistent, with the VIX trading in a tight band between 10.6 and 13.1 over the first quarter.If we include all calendar quarters, Q1 2017 was the second lowest quarterly average VIX level back to 1990; only ranking behind Q4 2006, when VIX averaged 11.03.
Estimating the VIX based upon payrolls, ISM levels and economic policy uncertainty, Goldman suggests an average VIX level of 13.7, two points higher than the Q1 average.