Although the current economic climate is uncertain, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon remains optimistic about the American consumer.
“The consumer is still strong,” he told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Tuesday in an interview on “Mornings with Maria.” “Their balance sheets are in good shape. They’re spending 10% more than pre-Covid. They have a lot of their accounts receivable companies in good shape, and that’s driving a strong economy.”
The statement came in response to a question Bartiromo asked him about his economic outlook, referring to comments he made earlier in April in a letter to shareholders and in October at a conference. He said “he has changed a lot.”
Dimon said there is uncertainty now, as well as back in April and October. The level of uncertainty has been “raised,” he added, pointing to several factors.
JAMIE DIMON: OIL CRISIS SHOULD BE TREATED ‘LIKELY AS A WAR ISSUES IN THIS WORLD’
“It was raised because of Russia, Ukraine, oil, energy, food, quantitative easing,” he told Bartiromo. “Will it be enough to raise prices to 5%? And this has a big impact on small countries, poor countries, those that depend on buying oil and gas.”
He said he thought that uncertainty would “reduce,” leading to a “Goldilocks kind of slow meltdown.”
“But they can’t,” he continued. “So, I’m still on the cautious side of this one.”
His statement on inflation was referring to the US Federal Reserve raising interest rates in an effort to reduce inflation.
The central bank has raised them several times in 2022, including a 75-basis-point increase and, most recently, a 50-basis-point increase. In the minutes of the Fed’s December meeting, policymakers indicated that rates could rise to 5.1% in 2023, FOX Business previously reported.
Bartiromo suggested that Dimon’s comments were “much better” than his October comments, when he used the word “hurricane” while discussing his economic situation.
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I shouldn’t use the word hurricane, but I said, there are storm clouds that can reduce, he said in an interview that was broadcast on Tuesday. “And people say ‘he doesn’t think it’s a big deal.’ And I said, ‘No, those storm clouds could be a tornado.’
He said it “couldn’t be anything” or “could be bad,” adding that he wasn’t telling either.
“I’m just saying prepare them both,” Dimon said. “The storm of the past has hit, inflation. The stock market is down 20%. So we were destroyed by a little bit of the storm already. The IPO market is closed, the high yield market for a while is closed.”
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While inflation as measured by the consumer price index cooled slightly in November, it remains near painfully high levels, as predicted by FOX Business. In November, it was up 0.1% from the previous month and 7.1% year-on-year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is set to release CPI data for December later this week.
FOX Business’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.