When it comes to the U.S. economy, count Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, as an optimist.
"There are a lot of positives to the economy," he said at a New York conference Thursday, CNBC reports. GDP growth totaled 3.9 percent annualized in the third quarter.
Blankfein cited the more than 40 percent drop in oil prices since late June, an improving housing market and deleveraging in the financial system.
Existing home sales soared 1.5 percent in October from September to an annual rate of 5.26 million units, the highest rate since September 2013, according to the National Realtors Association.
As for the oil price plunge, which brought U.S. crude to a five-year low of $59.56 a barrel Thursday, Europe "should be ecstatic," given its dependence on imports, Blankfein said.
When it comes to China, Blankfein is impressed with the country's economy, even though growth is slowing—to 7.3 percent annualized in the third quarter.
"This could very well be the Chinese century," he said.
MarketWatch Chief Economist Irwin Kellner isn't so enthusiastic about the economy. "According to the man on the street, [it] is hard to believe," the economy is expanding 4 percent, he said.
Growth of that magnitude is associated with full employment, plentiful desirable jobs, and wages growing faster than inflation, Kellner pointed out. "Guess what? It's not happening, this time around."
November's 5.8 percent unemployment rate is "far from full employment," he said.
In addition, "there are all those labor-force dropouts, not to mention those who are working well below their capacity," Kellner said.
The labor force participation rate was 62.8 percent last month, unchanged from October and barely above September's 36-year low of 62.7 percent.
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