David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff & Associates Inc., said the U.S. economy faces more challenges in 2012 than last year, while he backed away from his prediction the nation was facing a near-certain recession.
“Certainly, we’re not in a recession right now,” Rosenberg said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop” with Betty Liu. Nonetheless, he said, “I still believe the economy is still fragile and this recovery is still quite spotty.”
The effects of the European recession and a slowdown in China will weigh on U.S. exports and industrial production this year, he said. Even last week’s stronger-than-forecast jobs growth number of 200,000 for December may end up being revised down to about 140,000, when holiday hiring at delivery companies and other seasonal factors are taken into account, he said.
Rosenberg, who in a Bloomberg Radio interview last Aug. 5 gave 99 percent odds the U.S. would fall back into a recession, said today he didn’t have “as much conviction” as before that the U.S. faced another slump.
“As challenging as the year was in 2011, I expect 2012 is going to be even more challenging,” Rosenberg said in the interview from Toronto. “When you consider all the headwinds coming from overseas: Europe is in a recession now, it was not in a recession a year ago; we’re now talking about hard-landing risks in China, we weren’t talking about that a year ago.”
For all of 2011, monthly payroll growth averaged 137,000, and total jobs growth was 1.64 million after a gain of 940,000 in 2010. Even with the gains, little headway has been made in recovering the 8.75 million jobs lost as a result of the recession that ended in June 2009.
The U.S. economy will end up growing about 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent in 2011, Rosenberg said. He didn’t provide forecasts for this year.