This a 3% growth, 200,000-job economy: Mark Zandi

Zandi: Bad weather masks stronger economy
Zandi: Bad weather masks stronger economy

The economy is on a 3 percent growth trajectory, but it's been "getting masked" by the wicked winter weather, Moody's Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi told CNBC on Wednesday.

The weather has been a "mess and it's been like this for a couple of months," Zandi noted in a "Squawk Box" interview, moments after the release of the ADP private-sector payroll numbers that he helps to compile. "It's really starting to affect the data."

Private companies created 175,000 new positions in January—a bit fewer than had been expected, according to the latest report from ADP and Moody's Analytics.

Zandi wasn't discouraged by the number—saying it indicates a "3 percent economy, and it's a 175K to 200K monthly payroll gain [economy]."

(Read more: Private companies create fewer jobs than expected)

"Nothing changed in December, January fundamentally," he added.

Looking ahead to Friday's report on January jobs from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, economists expect 180,000 nonfarm payrolls to have been added, following a lackluster increase of 74,000 in December.

"I don't think we got any weather bounce back in January. But I don't know weather was playing as big as role" as it did in December, Zandi said. "I bet you a year from now when we get all the revisions in it wouldn't be 74K [for December]. It'll be 174K."

(Read more: Wicked winter weather chills US economy, stocks)

By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere. Follow him on Twitter @Matt_SquawkCNBC.