The U.S. economy is much stronger than people think, and there’s “no evidence” of an impending slowdown or recession yet, says celebrity investor Kevin O’Leary.
“I’m not saying we won’t get one, but everybody that’s saying it’s coming around the corner next week is just wrong,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Thursday.
“There’s no data, there’s no evidence, there’s no numbers, there’s no inclination on the consumer to slowdown yet,” he said.
The chairman of O’Shares ETFs said he’s invested in a wide range of sectors, from commercial kitchens and wireless charging to gym equipment and greeting cards. And he hasn’t seen “any indication” of a recession.
“I see their tear sheets each week. We don’t see slowdown yet,” he said, referring to a document summarizing key information about a company. “I think I’ll be one of the first to see it. I’m sort of a canary in the coal mine in that respect.”
He said consumption is still doing well at the moment.
U.S. GDP declined 1.5% in the first quarter of the year despite strong consumer spending because of weakness in business and private investment.
There are two reasons why it’s difficult to predict a recession, O’Leary said.
The first is that $4.5 trillion dollars were added to the U.S. economy in the past few years “from a helicopter, into the hands of consumers and businesses all over the land.”
That’s an unprecedented amount of money pumped into the system, he said.
“I deal with numbers each week, of what the consumer’s buying with the money they have, they’ve been given so much of it in the last three years and I’m not in the camp that says a dramatic recession,” he added.
Second, technology has boosted productivity.
The direct-to-consumer model is now being used in every sector of the economy, which means higher gross margins and more customer data for companies. It’s far more efficient and productive, O’Leary said.
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