Jeffrey Gundlach puts the odds of a U.S. recession before the 2020 election at 75%
Bond billionaire Jeffrey Gundlach, the CEO of $140 billion DoubleLine Capital, believes that the odds are increasing that the U.S. economy enters a recession in the coming months.
In June, he upped the odds of a recession, placing the probability of one occurring in the next 12 months, at 65%. In a telephone interview with Yahoo Finance on Tuesday, Gundlach placed odds of a recession happening before the 2020 Presidential election at 75%.
One market indicator that's "full-on recessionary" right now is the yield curve, which Gundlach said looks "a lot like 2007."
The yield on long-term U.S. debt like the 10-year Treasury note (^TNX) is now lower than yields on shorter-term debt, a phenomenon known as an inverted yield curve.
"There's no way to sugar coat it,” Gundlach said. “When you have a 40 basis point inversion, well, then that usually leads to a problem.”
Gundlach added that we will probably start seeing the yield curve steepen, but that wouldn’t necessarily be a good sign.
"That would almost seal the fate of recession coming," he said. "It's not so much the inversion — the inversion is a warning that there's one coming. But, you start to get in the imminence category once it first starts steepening out from the inversion, because, by then, the Fed has realized it's behind the curve, the market knows it too, and everybody knows the Fed's going to be slashing interest rates."
On his webcasts, Gundlach often highlights key recession indicators to see if there is one potentially on the horizon. With Yahoo Finance, he highlighted some of the areas of concern when it comes to the prospect of a recession.
"Leading economic indicators are heading south in a hurry. The PMIs are weakening up substantially. You're starting to see some warning signs from sentiment surveys, from CEO sentiment a little bit, and there's a flashing signal from consumers' expectations of the future being much worse than than thoughts of the present," he said.
The U.S. Conference Board Consumer Expectations Less Current Situation compares the current consumer views of the strength of the economy, compared to their view of how the economy will be in the future. What would need to happen to turn that into an "alarm bell" would be the consumers' views of the present would need to start deteriorating, he said.
"If that happened, you're almost definitionally in a recession.”
Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.
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