Economy

Jamie Dimon sees the best economic growth in decades, more than 4 Fed rate hikes this year

Jamie Dimon said the U.S. is headed for the best economic growth in decades.

“We’re going to have the best growth we’ve ever had this year, I think since maybe sometime after the Great Depression,” Dimon told CNBC’s Bertha Coombs during the 40th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. “Next year will be pretty good too.”

Dimon, the longtime CEO and chairman of JPMorgan Chase, said his confidence stems from the robust balance sheet of the American consumer. JPMorgan is the biggest U.S. bank by assets and has relationships with half of U.S. households.

“The consumer balance sheet has never been in better shape; they’re spending 25% more today than pre-Covid,” Dimon said. “Their debt-service ratio is better than it’s been since we’ve been keeping records for 50 years.”

Dimon said growth will come even as the Fed raises rates possibly more than investors expect. Goldman Sachs predicted four rate hikes this year and Dimon said he would be surprised if the central bank only raises four times.

“It’s possible that inflation is worse than they think and they raise rates more than people think,” Dimon said. “I personally would be surprised if it just four increases.”

However, Dimon said that while the underlying economy looks strong, stock market investors may endure a tumultuous year as the Fed goes to work.

“The market is different,” Dimon said. “We’re kind of expecting that the market will have a lot of volatility this year as rates go up and people kind of redo projections.”

“If we’re lucky, the Fed can slow things down and we’ll have what they call a `soft landing’,” Dimon added.

The bank was forced to move its annual healthcare conference to a virtual format because of the spread of the omicron variant of Covid-19.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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