Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive officer of Doubleline Capital LP, speaks at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S. (Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg) 

Gundlach Says Weakness Appearing in U.S. Economic Indicators

(Bloomberg) -- Some weakness is showing up in the U.S. economy despite lofty predictions of growth, according to Jeffrey Gundlach, the chief investment officer of DoubleLine Capital.

The Atlanta Federal Reserve recently forecast real gross domestic product at 1.6%, and a Citigroup Inc. basket of economic indicators has fallen to its lowest level since the financial crisis, Gundlach said on an asset-allocation webcast Tuesday. The Atlanta Fed figure can be volatile.

The probability of a recession in the next two years “would be extremely high,” Gundlach said. “Twelve months I’d give you a recession probability that’s 50-50. Next six months I’d probably have it down at 30%.”

Gundlach, whose Los Angeles-based firm oversaw more than $130 billion as of the end of March, also said:

  • The odds of a Fed rate cut in the next 12 months are about 70%.
  • The Fed is now “policy fluid” under Chairman Jerome Powell, who has repeatedly changed his comments about plans for interest-rate changes.
  • The economy has been growing largely because of a debt scheme as the U.S. increases spending and fuels deficits beyond expansion in output.
  • The bond market is “extremely exposed” to a downturn in the U.S. dollar, because some foreign buyers have been purchasing Treasuries without currency hedges.

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