The United States can avoid a recession because the U.S. consumer is likely to continue strengthening in the face of what is clearly an industrial recession, David Kostin, chief U.S. equity strategist at Goldman Sachs, said Tuesday.
"If the U.S. consumer, which represents about two-thirds of the economy, continues to grow, then this will be more of a growth scare than what could be worse, a recession," he told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."
Kostin acknowledged that questions are swirling around the Federal Reserve's interest rate policy and the durability of demand, but he said the U.S. economy ultimately comes down to the consumer.
Growth in jobs, an uptick in wages and improvement in Americans' debt levels are making Goldman Sachs more confident about the consumer, he said.
The strategist expects "modest" earnings growth of about 5 percent, excluding energy, and forecasts the S&P 500 will end the year moderately higher at 2,100. The index was down modestly at 1,841 midday Tuesday.