US Economy

Fed could drag down economy in 2016: Boockvar

Will rate hike produce 'collateral damage?'

Further tightening from the Federal Reserve could put more pressure on the U.S. economy next year, Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group, said Wednesday.

"The Fed only has to move a little bit to have a broader ripple effect," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

The central bank raised rates for the first time in nearly a decade on Dec. 16, an event that has already begun to weigh on the economy, Boockvar said.

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"I think the immediate impact has been the rising cost in capital for corporate America. The Fed's only raised 25 basis points this year, but high-yield spreads have widened by about 250 basis points. Even investment-grade [yield spreads] have widened by about 100-plus," he said. "A 25-basis-point rate hike has translated into much greater increases in the cost of capital for many companies."

"This is a credit-driven economy as we know, so that rise in the cost of capital is going to have an impact, whether that's on company expansion plans, or whether that's on stock buyback plans." He also said higher rates could put the brakes on historically high U.S. auto sales, because consumers will lose out on favorable deals.

Not everyone, however, shares Boockvar's pessimism heading into 2016.

"Peter has got a bit of a 'glass-is-half-empty' view of things," Bill Smead, CEO of Smead Capital Management, said in the same interview. "There's 86 million people in the United States between 21 and 37 years old, and they're way late in life getting married and they're way late in life having their kids, but they're going to do a lot of things within the next five to 10 years that they haven't done before, and it could easily change the composition of our economy."

Smead added that "We could easily have a housing boom within the next five years" as more millennials settle down. He also said that higher rates would not be a factor for millennials in buying a home because baby boomers eventually settled down and bought homes at much higher rates.

The Fed's policymaking committee is scheduled to meet Jan. 26-27, but not many are betting on another rate hike so soon. According to the CME Group's FedWatch tool, the probability of a rate hike next month is less than 15 percent.