Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman doesn’t see a recession despite slowing economic growth

Economic growth may be slowing, but we are not on the verge of a recession, Blackstone Chairman and CEO Steve Schwarzman said Tuesday.

“The U.S. economy is slowing from where it was. Two quarters ago, we were at 4.2 percent economic growth, which is unsustainable for a large country like the United States,” Schwarzman told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We’ll probably grow at about 2.5 percent to 2.75 percent this year.”

However, “I don’t see any recession. I don’t know where that came from the last two months of the year. Consumer confidence is down a little bit, which I think comes from some of the dysfunction, but they are still spending a lot of money,” Schwarzman said.

Fear that the economy could be headed for a recession was one of the factors that sparked a massive sell-off in equity markets last month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 posted their worst December performances since 1931 to close out last year, plunging more than 8.5 percent each.

Equities have rebounded sharply to start out 2019, however. The Dow and S&P 500 were up 5.9 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively, for the year heading into Tuesday’s session.

“I see the U.S. sort of rolling along here but at a lower rate for growth,” said Schwarzman, a top GOP donor and close advisor to President Donald Trump.

Blackstone has $457 billion in assets under management as of September.

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