US Economy Will Rebound in Second Half: Paulsen

When the U.S. exits the current economic soft patch in the second half of the year, markets should benefit, James Paulsen, CIO at Wells Capital Management, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday.

“I think in the next couple of months it's a race between ‘is the earnings news bad enough’ or will we start to see signs the soft patch in the United States is ending and we're bouncing,” Paulsen said. “If that happens I don't think we'll care about earnings in the last quarter. We'll care about where we're going.”

But if the economic data remains soft, Paulsen conceded “earnings seasonbad news will take on more significance.”

Paulsen expects an economic revival. Now that the drags of higher gasoline prices and mortgages rates are falling away, “we should grow closer to a pace of 3 percent in the second half,” he said. The economy grew 2 percent in the first half, he noted. (Related: U.S. Economic Growth Slowing: Buffett).

He also said this recovery is like the last two. “It’s rolling out much slower, but each time in the last two recoveries it took three years before we decided that we are in recovery,” he said. “Year four of the economic cycle things started to gear, confidence finally went up, the job market finally came to life. I think that’s exactly what’s happening here.”

Global policymakers should also succeed in bolstering the worldwide economy. “This is the first time in this recovery that you have almost every policy official around the globe easing,” he said. “I think they’re going to get better growth and higher markets.”