Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon expresses uncertainty about avoiding a US recession

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon spoke at a UBS Group conference on Tuesday. He says he is uncertain that the US can avoid a recession:

  • The world is set up for a soft landing.
  • The market certainly perceives there’s a very, very high delta to a soft landing.
  • My own view is it’s a little bit more uncertain than that.

Soloman pointed to softer consumer spending, geopolitical escalation, and the potential for delayed Fed rate cuts:

  • He conveyed conversations he has had a number of business executives who have told him that paycheck-to-paycheck spending behaviors have been tightening up in recent months … “that lower part of the economy is a little bit softer.”
  • “I think the world is more fragile. We have three geopolitical kind of hotspots at the moment. That has to be a headwind to global growth, that has to put some inflationary pressure into the overall ecosystem. So, I just think we’re operating pretty well, but just with a higher level of uncertainty that the market is pricing in,”

Expectations for the Federal Reserve easing cycle have been pushed out

  • labour market remains tight, inflation is still above the Fed’s target
  • “Investors are repositioning a bunch right now because two minutes ago it was seven interest rate cuts, now it’s four interest rate cuts — so the velocity of activity is still pretty good.”

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