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Goldman's Hatzius: The Next US Recession 'Is Years Away'

The next recession in the U.S. "is years away," the chief U.S. economist of the financial giant Goldman Sachs said Tuesday.

"There's still a long way to go. The unemployment rate is still 9 percent, we're nowhere close to a really tight labor market that usually predicates a recession, so I think we're still be in a recovery for a few years," Jan Hatzius told CNBC Tuesday,

"The underlying trend is still above-trend growth. That's not going to be true in every indicator, but the best evidence for that is probably the fact that the unemployment been trending down, Hatzius said.

"That's what ties into the monetary policy outlook also, and that's one of the key reasons we think the [Federal Reserve is] going to stay pretty even" on interest rates, he added.

Hatzius noted that because of a stronger economy, in the last six months commodity prices were driven up. "The recent decline [in commodities] has taken away some of the near-term downside risk. If you saw a big spike again, as we did earlier in the year, that certainly would be a concern."

Also, the housing report is a concern, the Goldman executive said. "Housing starts has reasonably been in a very low range. They really haven't done very much over the last couple of years. But house prices have shown some signs of weaknesses as well and we want to focus on that."

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