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Expect US growth to flatten: Blackstone's Studzinski

Falling corporate revenues and the patterns of past economic cycles suggest that U.S. growth will stall next year, according to the senior managing director at private equity firm Blackstone.

Asked about the potential for a U.S. recession next year, John Studzinski, the vice chairman for investor relations and business development and senior managing director at Blackstone, told CNBC that the economy was reaching the end of a typical seven- to eight-year cycle.

He added that U.S. businesses were finding it hard to find real revenue growth in this current economic climate, highlighting that they had become sophisticated at managing cost structure and producing the same amount of goods with a lower workforce.

"I think one, based on economic history, would reasonably assume, coupled with what I've just said previously, that there has to be some flattening out in terms of growth in the (U.S.) economy," he said.


Studzinski's cautious prediction comes at the time when traders are eagerly anticipating an interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve next month. They also follow comments made by Blackstone President and COO Tony James last week who spoke of a potential U.S. recession within two years.

Speaking to CNBC on Tuesday, James said that stock market valuations has gotten ahead of themselves and saw "a bit of a correction coming."

The U.S. has been one of the better performing advanced economies since the global financial crash of 2008. Gross domestic product increased at a 1.5 percent annual rate in the third quarter of 2015, after expanding at a 3.9 percent clip in the second.

After seven years of stocks pushing higher, analysts and traders have been contemplating hefty valuations this year. If the Fed does decide to move at its December meeting, it'll be exactly seven years since it pushed its Fed funds target rate down to 0.25 percent following the global financial crash of 2008. After three different quantitative easing programs, it now looks to be the only central bank willing to normalize its policy amid more easing from the likes of China and the euro zone.

Beat Wittmann, a partner at financial adviser Porta Advisors, told CNBC last Tuesday that historical evidence on rate rises would be overlooked and predicted a rally in risk assets to continue into the new year.

Others are more cautious on global growth and the knock-on effects it could have for risk assets. Ashok Shah, director of London & Capital, told CNBC Monday that investors should expect some "real pain" in markets outside of the U.S.

"I think that the big impact is going to be not in the U.S. but around the world in terms of the U.S. rate rising and then the consequence of the U.S. dollar strengthening," he said.

"Simply because the debt levels in the emerging markets have been rising quite hard and a lot of it is unhedged in U.S. dollars. So I think we can look forward to some real pain and stress in the corporate sector in the EM (emerging market) world."