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Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Chief Executive Officer Mohamed A. El-Erian said U.S. economic conditions are “terrifying” as the nation struggles to recover from recession.
The odds of the U.S. returning to recession are as high as 50 percent, El-Erian said during an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop” with Betty Liu. U.S. economic growth was worse than expected and congressional policy makers are gridlocked over what to do about the economy and the deficit, which risk exacerbating an already weak recovery, he said.
“We have less economic momentum than we thought we had and we have no policy momentum,” said El-Erian, who also serves as co-chief investment officer with Pimco founder Bill Gross at the world’s largest manager of bond funds.
“What’s most terrifying,” he said, “we are having this discussion about the risk of recession at a time when unemployment is already too high, at a time when a quarter of homeowners are underwater on their mortgages, at a time then the fiscal deficit is at 9 percent and at a time when interest rates are at zero.”
The economy in the U.S. expanded less than previously estimated in the third quarter, reflecting a drop in inventories that points to a pickup in growth as 2011 comes to a close.
Gross domestic product climbed at a 2 percent annual rate from July through September, less than projected and down from a 2.5 percent prior estimate, revised Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 81 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for no revision.