Despite a strong week for U.S. stocks, some strategists suggest that the road to economic recovery could be longer than anticipated.
"I think it's possible that this could be a long recovery," Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management, told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Friday. "If productivity does not recover, I still think recession risk within a couple years remains fairly high."
And, if we see a bounce in productivity, we could be in the middle of what might prove to be the longest recovery in U.S. history, Paulsen noted.
Ellen Zentner, chief U.S. economist at Morgan Stanley, agreed that market watchers should be "laser focused" on productivity.
"If productivity fails to pick up, that means no corporate profitability. It also means that we hit that danger zone of price spillover sooner than what the Fed would like," Zentner said in the same "Squawk on the Street" segment. "That will get the Fed into a situation where they have to hike faster, but not for the right reasons."