In a CNBC interview, Dimon stated that economic uncertainty is higher than usual, but he also notes that consumers have lots of money and job opportunities, and wages are on the rise for low-income workers. He says rising wages are “fabulous” after decades of few real increases. The economy, according to Dimon, is “wonderful. That’s today.” But, he says, “in front of us, there’s some scary stuff.”
Dimon points to some broad reasons for the uncertainty, such as the Federal Reserve enacting quantitative tightening — reducing its balance sheet through reductions in Treasury and mortgage-backed securities holdings. There are also the looming specters of “Russia, Ukraine, oil, gas, war, migration, trade, China.”
The CEO did caution that the United States might not see 2% inflation again anytime soon, after January alone had a consumer inflation rate of 6.4%. According to Dimon, it’s possible the Fed can no longer control inflation, thanks to a huge amount of government spending.
To demonstrate his lack of pessimism, Dimon indicated that JPMorgan does have a playbook for handling recessions, but the bank isn’t using it yet. Generally, Dimon advises consumers to prep for a long-term state of inflation, though they can expect some normalization of interest rates.
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