The risk that the Federal Reserve accidentally tips the U.S. economy into recession as it combats inflation is rising, according to JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.
The CEO of the biggest U.S. bank by assets said Wednesday that economic growth will continue at least through the second and third quarters of this year, fueled by consumers and businesses flush with cash and paying off debts on time.
“After that, it’s hard to predict. You’ve got two other very large countervailing factors which you guys are all completely aware of,” Dimon told analysts, naming inflation and quantitative tightening, or the reversal of Fed bond-buying policies. “You’ve never seen that before. I’m simply pointing out that those are storm clouds on the horizon that may disappear, they may not.”
Dimon’s remarks show just how quickly major events can change the economic landscape. A year ago, he said the U.S. was enjoying an economic “Goldilocks moment” of high growth coupled with manageable inflation that could last through 2023. But stubbornly high inflation and a host of possible impacts from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have clouded that picture.
The risks spilled into view on Wednesday, when JPMorgan posted a 42% profit decline from a year earlier on increased costs for bad loans and market upheaval caused by the Ukraine war.