Recent strength in the corporate bond market is not necessarily a sign the economy will improve significantly, Evercore Executive Chairman Roger Altman said Monday.
Altman made his comments in response to a Wall Street Journal article that suggested record bond sales by companies with good credit ratings in October was an upbeat sign for the economy. Corporate bond sales reached $103 billion in October, the Journal reported, citing Dealogic.
"I think that's a sign … marginally, of relative confidence, but it's a sign of confidence in the status quo, not a kind of resurgent growth," Altman told CNBC's "Squawk Box."
Altman noted that several forecasts suggest the U.S. economy will continue chugging along at 2.5 percent growth.
"I think the good news is that it's pretty predictable. I don't see any scenario under which we have a recession. I think the bad news is it's slowing, and so I don't think that bond surge is a sign of anticipated upward movement in the economy myself."
The uptick in merger-and-acquisition activity is also coming from a position of corporate weakness at the margins rather than strength, Altman said.
While he said every deal is different, he noted that top-line growth has been weak and therefore companies are attracted to the potential to attain synergies.
"Reasonable mergers generate substantial synergies, so that provides for earnings and cash-flow growth even if it doesn't provide for revenue growth, and I think that's a big driver," he said.
One slice of the mergers and acquisitions market in which Altman sees no signs of decline is tax inversions.