Recession fears have been reignited amid weakening global conditions, but recessions have never been contagious and the U.S. is doing just fine, according to Josh Brown, CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management.
“The consumer is on fire. The small business owner is on fire. Financial conditions have not been easier in 13 years. Money is flowing and businesses are growing,” Brown, also a CNBC contributor, told CNBC’s “Halftime Report.”
“Can you think of a recession from anywhere international that we’ve imported over here? It’s never happened. Even in 1998 when every country in Asia melted down, devaluation of the Ruble, complete banking fiasco all over the place in Latin America, we didn’t have a recession as a result to that,” he added.
The economic stresses that have been manifesting in Europe, China, and Japan are worrying many of a global slowdown. Adding to the fears is the deteriorating U.S. data including durable goods, Markit PMI and manufacturing survey, but Brown said the data is skewed by the government shutdown and will soon recover.
“The first quarter is always disappointment,” Brown said, referring to a phenomenon called residual seasonality. “In some years, we had that because of major northeastern snowstorms. In other years, we had that because of the falling price of the oil. It happens every single year.”
“You will see a bounce back in the data when we get deeper into Q2 right on schedule,” he said.
The bond market is also flashing a big recession signal as part of the yield curve has stayed inverted since Friday. The yield curve has been a reliable recession indicator in the past. However, Brown called it a technical issue and doesn’t expect it to indicate a recession.
“You will also see a growing recognition that a lot of what’s going on with the yield curve, specifically at the very front end is a technical issue. It has to do with excess savings in German banks. It’s not a U.S. economic issue,” Brown said.