Tags: Bilello | US | economy | weakness

Pension Partners' Bilello: Why the US Economy Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be

By    |   Thursday, 22 January 2015 01:22 PM

While overseas economies are struggling, many analysts say the United States is thriving, pointing to GDP growth that averaged 4.8 percent in the second and third quarters.

But not so fast, says Charlie Bilello, research director at money management firm Pension Partners.

"While the U.S. economy has certainly fared better than its global peers, an acceleration we have yet to see, with real GDP still showing the slowest post-war recovery in history and real wage growth telling the same story," he writes on the firm's website.

GDP growth has averaged 2.7 percent since the end of the recession in 2009.

Several indicators signal weakness, Bilello says. "First, inflation expectations in the U.S. have been falling precipitously over the past year," he notes.

"Second, the yield curve in the U.S. is flattening," Bilello adds. "Third, like Europe and Japan, U.S. long duration yields have plummeted over the past year. The 30-year Treasury yield is at a new all-time low, below the crisis lows of 2008. Fourth, credit spreads in the U.S. are widening."

Fifth, defensive sectors have led the stock market since the beginning of 2014.

"Sixth, if we look past lagging indicators like GDP and focus instead on leading indicators, they are telling a different story," he maintains.

"Collectively, these factors suggest that the U.S. is not immune to a global slowdown. Indeed, it is already starting to feel the effects if we look at anything except the S&P 500. From easy monetary policy to plummeting yields and inflation expectations, the U.S. looks very much like its global peers."

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman offers a much rosier view. He forecasts economic growth of 3 to 4 percent during the next few years.

"I'm very confident about the U.S. outlook," he told CNBC. "If you look at unemployment under 6 percent, the strength in the dollar, the return of the housing markets, the appreciation of 401(k) plans, cheap energy, the list goes on and on," Gorman states.

"The U.S. is doing terrifically. The problem is we have so much scar tissue from the crisis, we just don't like admitting it."

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While overseas economies are struggling, many analysts say the United States is thriving, pointing to GDP growth that averaged 4.8 percent in the second and third quarters.
Bilello, US, economy, weakness
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2015-22-22
Thursday, 22 January 2015 01:22 PM
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