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The US economy could enter a 'mild' recession in 2020, investor says

Key Points
  • The U.S. economy could experience a "mild" recession next year, predicted Guy Miller, chief market strategist and head of macroeconomics at Zurich Insurance.
  • "U.S. conditions, we believe, will get worse — that will impact earnings and ultimately margins as well," he said.
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There could be a 'mild US recession' in 2020: Strategist

The U.S. economy could experience a "mild" recession next year even as the Federal Reserve is seen as increasingly likely to lower interest rates to boost growth, predicted a European investor.

The Fed on Wednesday kept benchmark rates in the U.S. unchanged. But Fed Chair Jerome Powell opened the door to a possible rate cut by saying that some central bank officials "now see the case for somewhat more accommodative policy has strengthened. "

U.S. stocks rallied as investors bet on the Fed easing monetary policy, which would extend the ongoing economic expansion. But Guy Miller, chief market strategist and head of macroeconomics at Zurich Insurance, cautioned on Friday that economic conditions could take a turn for the worse.

"Our view still is that we (will) have a mild U.S. recession in 2020," Miller told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

"People forget that the reason interest rate should be cut, and the reason that the Fed has done this pivot, is because global conditions are getting worse," he added. "U.S. conditions, we believe, will get worse — that will impact earnings and ultimately margins as well."

Miller predicted that the Fed will cut interest rates once before the end of this year.

Other analysts, however, may disagree.

Bob Baur, chief global economist at Principal Global Investors, told CNBC on Friday that he expects the U.S. central bank to cut interest rates twice in July and September, but a worsening U.S. economy is not a big reason underpinning the Fed's expected moves.

Instead, he said, the Fed may want to make sure that interest rates are aligned with inflation trends, in addition to helping to extend the current economic growth cycle.

Baur added that he thinks the slowdown in the global economy will dissipate in the coming months.

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The global economic slowdown could fade soon: Economist