BlackRock’s President Robert Kapito is doing something that many of his counterparts aren’t at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. That is sounding upbeat on the road ahead for the global economy.
“I am not leaving Davos without being optimistic — we see growth, we see it slower, but we see growth,” Kapito told Yahoo Finance Editor-in-chief Andy Serwer Wednesday. “We see productivity in companies, we see labor now at a shortage, low unemployment especially in the United States — so we see a lot of good things.”
The upbeat stance from Kapito, the 62-year-old executive who oversees operations for the world’s largest asset manager, stands in stark contrast to the commentary thus far in Switzerland.
The International Monetary Fund uncorked a sobering outlook on the global economy and asset markets ahead of the event. In its latest World Economic Update report, the IMF said the global economy is projected to grow at a decent 3.5% this year and only accelerate to 3.6% in 2020. The outlooks for 2019 and 2020 are 0.2 percentage point and 0.1 percentage point, respectively, below the IMF’s projections issued in October.
Growth for China for 2019 and 2020 is pegged at 6.2% each year. That is below the IMF’s 6.6% forecast for 2018 and most outlooks on Wall Street.
“We have a real problem in terms of the quantity of debt we have to sell to the world over the next several years,” Ray Dalio, chairman of Bridgewater Associates, said at the gathering on Tuesday. The billionaire turned author went on to fan the flames of a nasty U.S. recession in 2020.
Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSozzi
Read Yahoo Finance’s Exclusives: