GE CEO: Global Economy Strong, Housing Tough

General Electric Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt on Wednesday reiterated that the global economy was strong despite a tough housing market.

He also said he planned to run media company NBC Universal, which is majority owned by GE, for the long term. There has been repeated speculation that NBC will be sold by its parent.

GE is also the parent company of CNBC.

GE may make small acquisitions in the energy area as well, he said.

Investors view GE as a bellwether of the U.S. economy because of the size and diversity of its operations that range from manufacturing heavy equipment to consumer lending.

"Housing is going to be tough but the global economy remains very strong," Immelt told an energy conference in Rome, adding that there might be contagion between strong and weak areas of the economy.

Immelt also said he expects GE's revenue this year to come to approximately $175 billion, with profit of around $23 billion.