Merrill Lynch Remains A Bit Of A Bear

Jan. 13, 2005
By John S. McClenahen Even as signs of an accelerating recovery from the 2001 recession emerge, Merrill Lynch & Co., New York, remains a bit conservative on the U.S. economic outlook. For example, David A. Rosenberg, Merrill's chief North American ...
ByJohn S. McClenahen Even as signs of an accelerating recovery from the 2001 recession emerge, Merrill Lynch & Co., New York, remains a bit conservative on the U.S. economic outlook. For example, David A. Rosenberg, Merrill's chief North American economist, foresees the economy growing at a 3.75% possibly 4% annual rate this quarter, decidedly under the 5% to 6% rate that some other economists are forecasting. His reasoning: "With the production data still lining up on the soft side, we see a sizable chunk of the spending gains coming from a combination of inventory draw and a leakage to foreign producers (higher imports)." He's also wary of projections of GDP growth near a 4% annual rate in the fourth quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2004. Rosenberg suggests that dramatically less mortgage refinancing activity, higher energy costs and the absence of a hiring spree make the near-4% figure suspect.

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