Economy in better shape than pessimists say: Rieder, head of BlackRock

Rick Rieder, Chief Investment Officer of Global Fixed Income at BlackRock, speaks at a Reuters Investment Summit in New York, November 7, 2019.

lucas jackson | Reuters

NEW YORK – When the bond chief of the largest asset manager look at the United States right now, he sees a lot to like.

A combination of resilient government, business and consumer spending, improving homebuilder data, $1.5 trillion in excess savings and low unemployment tells BlackRock Rick Rieder that the US economy is doing better than expected.

“I think the US economy is in much better shape than people think,” Rieder said Tuesday during an event at BlackRock headquarters in New York.

“There’s this thesis that you’ll have a dramatic downturn,” he said. “When you break down the numbers, it’s just not apparent.”

Rumors of an impending recession are mounting as the impact of Federal Reserve interest rate hikes ripple through the economy. The collapse of three mid-sized banks this year has fueled concerns that lenders will curb access to credit, further slowing the economy. Still, the jobs numbers have baffled expectations, most recently for April, when nonfarm payrolls jumped 253,000.

“When people say, ‘We’re going into a recession or a deep recession,’ that’s quite unusual. [or] almost impossible with an unemployment rate of 3.4%,” Rieder said.

A lot of money set aside


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