- Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Billionaire private-equity CEO David Rubenstein of The Carlyle Group is psyched about the US economy.
In a podcast Tuesday, he talked about the economy, the probability of a recession, and current investing opportunities.
When asked about what excites him most right now, Rubenstein said (emphasis ours):
“Right now I’m excited about the fact that after the great recession, the US came back in a reasonably good shape. It wasn’t perfect, but we’re now in a situation where the US economy is doing better than any other developed economy in the world. We’re probably growing at 1%, inflation would be about 2%, unemployment would be under 5%. The budget deficit is going down. As a result of that, I think it’s a pretty attractive place to invest. Obviously we prefer 5% growth, 3% unemployment and other things we probably can’t achieve in the near term, but given how deep the recession was, and given how long it took to get to this point, I’m actually excited about where we are and the opportunity to invest in this economy.
Rubenstein’s upbeat comment is in contrast to what many of the CEOs of America’s largest companies have said about the health of the US economy. The latest earnings season also displayed a rather gloomy macro picture across sectors.
However, Rubenstein tempered his optimism, noting that sooner or later the US will face a slowdown. “When we make investments at Carlyle, we’re very conscious now the fact that there’s probably some slowdown, and we can’t assume that the economy can go up all the time,” said Rubenstein.
The Carlyle Group, which manages $176 billion in assets, will tread carefully amid any future economic slowdown. There tends to be a recession in the US every 7 years or so, and Rubenstein thinks the next one might happen sooner than later, according to the podcast.
Business Insider has reported on how historical US GDP figures suggest that recession could hit the US sooner than expected. Economists have also pointed out the lack of growth outside of US consumption, and how the risk of recession could increase if consumer spending wobbles.