According to Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, U.S. consumers are “in good shape” and will continue to spend at a high clip, at least in the near term. “Consumers are in good shape, not overleveraged,” Moynihan, CEO of the second-biggest U.S. bank by assets, told Bloomberg Television from Davos, Switzerland. Meanwhile, the bank’s customers have checking and savings accounts that are still larger than before the pandemic and are spending 10% more so far in May than the year-earlier period, he said. “What’s going to slow them down? Nothing right now,” Moynihan said.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is in the middle of an inflation-fighting campaign that has pummeled markets, especially formerly high-flying growth stocks. With inflation at multidecade highs and a central bank slamming the brakes on easy-money policies, there has been mounting concern the economy will fall into recession. Keeping the economy from falling into recession would be good for American consumers. “The Fed has this typically very difficult thing of getting them to slow down without slowing down too much,” Moynihan said. “I believe they are going to be able to manage this flow, but it’s going to be tricky.” According to Moynihan, more bank CEOs are optimistic that the U.S. can avoid a recession. However, earlier this month, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon put the odds at 66% that the U.S. will have some economic slowdown.