JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon: US Economy in ‘Mild Recovery’

Wednesday, 11 Jan 2012 08:04 AM

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The United States is currently in a state of "mild recovery" defined as generally "broad and strengthening," says JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

"When you look at all the sectors — corporate, middle market, business, consumer — for the most part they’re better than they were a year ago, and we even think housing is near the bottom if you look at rental prices, supply and demand, household formation," Dimon tells CNBC.

"So I hope we have a growing economy."
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Focusing on Europe, where the European Central Bank (ECB) refuses to engage in U.S.-style quantitative easing, which are asset purchases from banks designed to stimulate the economy, Dimon said measures taken so far, such as making low-cost, three-year loans available to banks, are having an impact in easing tight credit conditions across the Atlantic.

But the ECB must stay involved.

"It's fair for the ECB to say this is not our issue, it’s a government issue," Dimon says.

But it's also fair for the European Union "to say we need the ECB to help with liquidity, particularly for Italian and Spanish sovereign debt.

There are a lot of issues to work out, and they should be done together and soon, because I think the longer you wait the higher the risk is something goes wrong that you can’t control," Dimon says, without outright calling for the ECB to roll out quantitative easing.

"We've been doing business with Italy and Spain for 100 years. We want to be there for another 100 years."

Some are still optimistic that Europe can weather its debt crisis fairly well, including International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde.

"Our assessment is that even if some of the eurozone countries are in a recession technically for some or all of 2012, the whole of the zone might not technically be in a recession," Lagarde tells South Africa's Business Day newspaper.

"You’ve got very different economies cruising at different growth rates…. That is going to have an impact on the entire eurozone and might avoid recession for the euro zone at large," Lagarde adds.

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