Jack Welch: Some Sectors Show ‘Real Strength’

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The U.S. economy was showing “modest growth” in some sectors, as well as signs of strength, former General Electric CEO Jack Welch said Thursday.

In an interview on “The Kudlow Report,” the celebrated ex-honcho weighed in on the state of the economy.

“I expected an acceleration in the first quarter, and what we were getting was modest growth in the short-cycle businesses — in food supplies, in chemicals and other things — in our private-equity companies,” he said. “But we were getting real strength in non-residential construction and in infrastructure.”

Welch shared with host Larry Kudlow a few pros and cons.

“I actually think that the economy has got some positives. It’s got the market. It’s got consumer confidence and it’s got banks throwing — I mean central bankers throwing money at it around the world,” he said. “On the negative side, though, we’ve got gasoline prices, we’ve got Europe, we don’t know where China is going, and we’ve got tax increases right around the corner.”

In a March 28 appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Welch said, “The economy has clearly turned a bit.”

Welch, who helmed GE for 21 years and founded the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University, spoke at length about his argument that President Obama was engaging in divide-and-conquer tactics in his bid for re-election, targeting specific groups.

“It was the insurance executives in health care. It was the bankers in the collapse. It was the oil companies as oil prices go up. It was Congress if things didn’t go the way he wanted. And recently it’s been the Supreme Court,” he said.

“He’s got an enemies list that would make Richard Nixon proud.”

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