Altman: The good and bad news for the economy

Evercore Partners founder Roger Altman said Monday he doesn't see any of the classic signs that the U.S. economy is heading into recession.

"The good news and the bad news about the most recent jobs data and the latest data are the same. The good news is that we're growing at 2 to 2.5 percent in real terms, depending on the month, which is sluggish. But the other news is we can do that for a long time," he told "Squawk Box."

U.S. job growth in November beat expectations, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting the country added 211,000 nonfarm positions last month. The unemployment rate remained at 5 percent.

While some talk down the U.S. economy, developed nations around the world would be glad to be adding jobs at the same pace and to have the same unemployment rate, Altman said.

Following Friday's employment report, the Federal Reserve will certainly raise interest rates next week, Altman said.

But he expects the central bank's language around future rate hikes to be dovish, in part because the Personal Consumption Expenditure Deflator — a measure of the cost of living — remains weak and the number of Americans working part time for economic reasons edged up in November.

Altman acknowledged that the economy is subject to noneconomic shocks. He said he does not expect recent terror attacks to prevent Americans from going about their routines, and therefore, the underlying economy should remain largely unaffected.

"The base case is that the historical and, let's face it, admirable resilience of the American people is going to assert itself. We're going to march through these risks, and we won't face an event or series of events that really compromise the way Americans go about their daily lives and the underlying economy," he said.

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