“The economy is still very strong, and that’s across wages, job creation, capital expenditure, consumer credit; it’s pretty broad-based and it’s not going to be diminished immediately,” Dimon said in a media conference call following his bank’s earnings report. “I was pointing out the probabilities that I thought were higher that rates would go up. I still believe that. I do think you’re going to see higher rates.”
While rising rates amid a strong economy are good, they could eventually put a halt to the nearly decade-long economic growth cycle, he said. Dimon said later in a conference call with analysts that benchmark rates could reach 4 percent. The 10-year Treasury yield was last at 3.16 percent, up significantly in the last month, a move that sparked the longest decline in the S&P 500 in almost two years.
“If rates go up because you have inflation, that is not a plus. That is a bad thing,” Dimon said. “So far, we still have a strong economy in spite of these increasing overseas geopolitical issues bursting all over the place.”
When asked to name these issues, Dimon rattled off a list that included the Trump administration’s trade dispute with China, Brexit, the unwinding of bond-purchasing programs by central banks around the world, as well as flareups across Europe, the Middle East and Latin America including in Italy and Turkey.
“It’s an extensive list of stuff,” Dimon said, adding that most of the times, it’s rising rates and not geopolitical issues that ends up derailing economic cycles. “I’m just pointing that out. No one should be surprised if it happens down the road.”