Despite GDP Data, US Economy ‘in Good Shape’: Barton Biggs
Special to CNBC.com
The U.S. economy "looks health and is in pretty good shape" compared with other developed countries, despite data showing cooling growth in the first quarter, hedge fund investor Barton Biggs told CNBC Friday.
Earlier Friday the Commerce Departmentreported gross domestic product expanded at a 2.2 percent annual rate, slowing from the fourth quarter's 3 percent rate and below economists' expectations of 2.5 percent growth.
"The numbers this morning, they’re a little less than expected. But the last two quarters, real GDP growth in the U.S. has averaged out to 2.6 percent and the GDP deflator is just 1.2 percent," the managing partner of Traxis Partners told "Squawk on the Street," referring to an economic metric that factors in inflation .
"For an economy that’s on a sustained growth pattern, you couldn’t ask for better numbers," said the bullish Biggs.
He likes American technology companies, with an investment basket of "mature" firms that includes Cisco Systems , Intel and Microsoft , and "new" firms including Apple, Qualcomm and VMWare.
Europe, however, is of big concern to Biggs.
"It's clear the...people of Europe have sent a message to the politicians that they’re tired of austerity, they want more stimulation and more growth," he said. "It’s very hard to see how that’s going to work out."
China, meanwhile, has "pretty artfully created a soft landing and stabilized growth at around 7 percent to 8 percent, which is pretty darn good for the second-biggest economy in the world, and the markets are starting to suggest they’ve been able to stabilize their real estate markets," he said.
He disagrees with those short-selling China, including another hedge-fund titan, Jim Chanos.
"I think China’s fine and will be a positive surprise in the months to come. It will be a big plus for world markets," Biggs said.