3 safe-haven shares I’d buy as the economy cools

Young man exercising in his house gym, doing push ups

I’m searching for the best safe-haven shares to invest in today. I think these top stocks could grow profits even as economic conditions worsen.

Spire Healthcare

Private hospital operator Spire Healthcare (LSE: SPI) is a UK share I’ve already bought for my Stocks and Shares ISA. I’m considering upping my holdings too as waiting lists for free treatment keep growing.

The British Heart Foundation said on Thursday that wait times for cardiac care grew for a 22nd straight month in April to an all-time high of 319,366 people. Lists are climbing across the NHS and this is driving patient numbers at the likes of Spire through the roof. Private patient revenues at this particular provider rose at a record pace in 2021.

I think stocks like this could be better placed than many others to weather the economic downturn as well. This is because spending on healthcare tends to remain broadly unchanged, even during bad times. Good health is something we can’t afford to take for granted.

I’m considering buying more of Spire despite the threat that rising staff costs pose to profits.

The Gym Group

Investing in companies that offer cheaper goods and services could work for me as consumer spending power falls. One way I’m thinking of doing this is by buying The Gym Group (LSE: GYM) shares.

People don’t stop working out when times get tough. They might however choose to do it at lower cost by joining a gym with cheap membership costs like The Gym Group. In fact, this operator’s low-cost model has helped turbocharge member levels since re-opening last April. It had 718,000 on its books at the end of 2021, up from 547,000 10 months earlier.

I could be tempted to buy the share today and hold onto it for the long haul too. I like its plans to significantly expand its gym network from 206 sites to above 300 by 2025.

The fitness industry is competitive, and The Gym Group will have to paddle hard to keep growing membership numbers. Still, I find the rate at which it has added members over the past year highly encouraging.

Bloomsbury Publishing

Reading is a relatively cheap pastime. So it makes companies involved in the book trade like Bloomsbury Publishing (LSE: BMY) attractive investments for me during this cost of living crisis.

The company’s exceptional trading news this week has boosted my appetite. Sales and profits rocketed 24% and 40% respectively to new highs in the last fiscal year (to February) as the upswing in book demand seen during the pandemic carried on.

I like Bloomsbury for other reasons too. It’s the home of Harry Potter, a cash cow whose sales continue to grow decades after launching. I also like the company’s successful foray into the realm of academic literature.

I’d buy the business even as soaring paper prices put profit margins under strain.

The post 3 safe-haven shares I’d buy as the economy cools appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Bloomsbury Publishing and The Gym Group. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.