At the CNBC CEO Council summit, top CEOs such as David Solomon of Goldman Sachs discussed the potential for a recession. While some bankers predicted a “shallow” recession with continuing inflation, others considered the possibility of a recession unlike any seen before due to factors such as infrastructure and inflation laws. Katie Koch, CEO of TCW Group, commented on the negative attitude among CEOs at the event, indicating a “deterioration in the economy and a slump in earnings.” The CEOs noted that global liquidity demands would put further pressure on the economy, exacerbating labor market issues.
Meanwhile, Tamara Lundgren of Schnitzer Steel highlighted the competing forces in the current economy, including demand for metals driven by transitions to a low-carbon economy and generative AI. These forces have contributed to uncertainty over the economic outlook. Furthermore, recent announcements by Exxon Mobil and Enel indicate significant investments in clean energy, while the Inflation Control Act is projected to cost as much as $1.2 trillion over the next decade. Overall, the CEOs are striving to interpret the mixed signals in the economy as they prepare for potential recessions.
Solomon of Goldman Sachs predicts that inflation will remain strong and warns of the challenges in returning to the Fed’s 2% target. Despite this, he believes a soft landing is possible and expects a potential recession to be “shallow.” Other CEOs at the event noted that transportation costs have decreased significantly, and wages have returned to pre-pandemic levels. However, the economy remains unstable, and the outlook for the future remains uncertain.