Dow Chem CEO: I'm No Recession 'Chicken Little'

What is driving all the fearful recession chatter? Andrew Liveris, presidnt, chairman and chief executive at Dow Chemical, sums it up in one word: "Overreaction."

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he offered CNBC his thoughts on issues ranging from the U.S. economy and consumers to China and oil prices.

"Macro trend-wise, '08 is clearly going to be soifter than '07. And the U.S. economy is still sorting itself out," Liveris conceded. "But I wouldn't do the Chicken Little thing at all."

He pointed to "mitigators" such as cheap Chinese exports to the U.S., which permit American consumers to maintain a certain standard of living.

"The real economy -- in terms of consumers feeling the energy pinch, the housing thing, it's [the slowdown] is very real. But in terms of it being catastrophic? No," the CEO said.

He summed up: "I won't say there won't be a recession -- but there's an overreaction."

Liveris noted that Dow Chemical is in its "quiet period" ahead of next week's earnings release, but hinted at surprises to come -- particularly in connection with his belief that oil prices are going to soften this year.