S&P Near 1500, Gold Above $1600: Byron Wien's 2011 Surprises

2011 is going to be a better year for the economy compared to current consensus numbers, said Byron Wien, vice chairman of Blackstone Advisory Partners.

“There’s a great deal of focus on the 10 percent of the population that’s unemployed, but it’s what the 90 percent does that really counts in the economy,” Wien told CNBC.

“And the 90 percent feel more secure about their jobs and more willing to spend.”

Wien expects the economy to grow 5 percent. The three key drivers will be consumers, trade and capital spending.

Wien’s Surprises for 2011 Include:

Real GDP rises close to 5 percent

  • Unemployment drops below 9 percent

Yield on the 10-year approaches 5 percent

  • Spreads with corporate fixed income securities narrow

S&P rises close to its old high of 1500; telecoms and utilities lag

  • Individual investors return to equities
  • M&A activity intensifies

Inflation remains benign, but gold rises above $1,600

  • Hedge funds sell gold positions, some even short gold—but scramble back in when it keeps rising

China manages the value of the renminbi to keep growth below 10% and to prevent consumer prices from rising above 4 to 5 percent

  • Precursor to adoption of a basket including the renminbi as alternative reserve currency

Scorecard—What He Said:

  • Wien's Previous Appearance on CNBC (Dec. 9, 2010)

More Market Analysis & Opinion:

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Bank of America

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Goldman Sachs


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No immediate information was available for Wien or his firm.