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Tags: Pimco | El-Erian | Heal | economy

Pimco’s El-Erian: America Isn’t Healing Fast Enough

Wednesday, 06 June 2012 10:27 AM EDT

The U.S. economy is healing but not growing fast enough to achieve escape velocity and break free from the pull of a fresh slowdown, says Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of Pimco, manager of the world's largest bond fund.

Despite gloomy headlines such as those pointing to dismal jobs reports, there are some winds of recovery blowing in U.S. sails.

Corporate earnings are healthy and wealthy households remain poised to spend and invest to boost the economy. Housing appears to bottoming out and despite May's jobs report, which showed the economy added a scant 69,000 net jobs, jobs are still being created.

Editor's Note: The Final Turning Predicted for America. See Proof.

The Federal Reserve appears willing to jolt the economy via unorthodox monetary policy measures if needed and upcoming elections may prompt politicians to act and tend to fiscal imbalances facing the economy.

Serious headwinds remain, El-Erian writes in a Project Syndicate column.

The European debt crisis is intensifying and threatening to bring the entire global economy down with it, and back home, the U.S. private sector and households face more deleveraging.

Meanwhile the Fed's loose monetary policies have fueled fears that inflationary pressures will increase down the road while many people have been out of work for so long they run the risk of being permanently unemployed.

It's time for politicians to act and make lasting fiscal policy decisions, as Federal Reserve action on its own falls short.

"The bottom line is unfortunate, but it must be acknowledged. While the U.S. economy is gradually healing, a lot more needs to happen – indeed, urgently – to restore its traditional vigor and vitality. Most important, robust recovery requires a degree of seriousness and constructive collaboration in Washington that seems elusive today," El-Erian writes.

"Unless and until this cooperation materializes, the hope of achieving economic escape velocity will remain just that – a hope. And, rather than surging forward, the U.S. economy, regrettably and exasperatingly, will remain captive to unusual sluggishness, while its vulnerability to the ill winds blowing from the rest of the world will only increase."

One major hurdle facing the U.S. economy will morph into a brick wall at the end of the year, when tax cuts are set to expire and automatic spending cuts are set to kick in, a combination known widely as a "fiscal cliff" that could siphon hundreds of billions out of the economy and send the country tanking back into contraction.

Former President Bill Clinton recently urged both political parties to do whatever possible to steer the country away from the fiscal cliff.

"What I think we need to do is find some way to avoid the fiscal cliff, to avoid doing anything that would contract the economy now, and then deal with what's necessary in the long term debt-reduction plans as soon as they can, which presumably would be after the election," Clinton tells CNBC.

Lawmakers need to compromise with President Barack Obama, and all sides need to agree to keep tax cuts and spending structures in play now and make sure growth returns and then tackle deficits.

"They will probably have to put everything off until early next year," Clinton says.

Editor's Note: The Final Turning Predicted for America. See Proof.

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Wednesday, 06 June 2012 10:27 AM
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