Markets

PayPal CEO: Spending by our nearly 300 million users makes me 'pretty bullish' about US economy

Key Points
  • "People may be predicting a recession, but we're not seeing it in any of our numbers," says PayPal CEO Dan Schuman.
  • "In the U.S., consumer spend is still strong," he says. "For the next year or so, we're pretty bullish about, in general, the economy."
  • Schulman did acknowledge that global uncertainty around Brexit, the U.S.-China trade war and the 2020 election could "break any one of a number of different ways."
VIDEO1:3201:32
PayPal CEO: Consumer spend is still strong and we are not seeing a recession

Dan Schulman, CEO of digital payments giant PayPal, told CNBC on Wednesday that spending activity by its nearly 300 million users remains high, strengthening his optimism about the future of the overall U.S. economy.

"In the U.S., consumer spend is still strong," Schulman said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "At least right now, over the next year or so, we're pretty bullish about, in general, about the economy."

Wall Street —despite seeing the stock market hitting all-time highs recently — has been on edge as economic uncertainty increases across the globe.

Schulman pointed to Britain's exit from the European Union, the trade war, the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump and the 2020 presidential election.

"Those can break any one of a number of different ways," he acknowledged. But Schulman said, "From our perspective, we see a pretty strong secular growth."

"People have been predicting a recession for some time, but we're not seeing it in any of our numbers," he added.

Last month, PayPal reported better-than-expected adjusted earnings and revenue, citing its mobile payment app Venmo as a key bright spot.

Shares of PayPal, as of Tuesday's close of just over $102 each, were more than 21% higher in 2019.

While Schulman said the American consumer seems strong, two data points from last month show that confidence may be slipping.

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index fell more than expected in October after a rebound in September from August's worst monthly drop since 2012. The Conference Board's October consumer confidence report showed an unexpected drop.

PayPal's Schulman says 'success as a company should be shared'

Schulman appeared on CNBC on Wednesday with billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones to talk about how companies can make life better for their workers.

Jones' nonprofit, Just Capital, on Tuesday ranked PayPal among the top large publicly traded companies in terms of addressing issues such as employee pay, diversity and sustainability.

Schulman said PayPal had been paying at or above minimum wage, but he found that employees were still living paycheck to paycheck. In an effort to combat that, PayPal raised base wages, offered a financial education program and lowered benefit costs, he said. PayPal also granted each employee equity, regardless of level.

"Our success as a company should be shared," he added. "It's incumbent on us to look at, do they have enough net disposable income, a living wage, to make ends meet?"

VIDEO24:1624:16
CNBC's full interview with billionaire Paul Tudor Jones and PayPal CEO Dan Schulman