U.S. Markets

U.S. recession odds rise to 40-45% in six months: DoubleLine's Gundlach

(Reuters) - Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive officer of DoubleLine Capital, said on Thursday the odds of the United States sliding into a recession in the next six months have risen to 40-45% and the odds were 65% within the next year.

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Gundlach, who oversees more than $130 billion in assets under management, said the yield curve and the New York Fed recession probability showed a rising chance of recession.

“Several indicators suggest a recession could take place in one year,” Gundlach said on an investor website, adding consumer indicators point to “the front edge of a recession.”

Earlier this year, he said a recession was not on the horizon, but the U.S.-China trade war and the weak momentum of the global economy have raised red flags for him.

Gundlach said the Fed probably will not cut rates in June but likely will later in summer. Gundlach says the bond market indicates the Fed will cut rates by a quarter percentage point either two or three times by year end.

As for the bond market, Gundlach, who has long forecasted 6% on the 10-year Treasury yield by the next presidential election or a year after, said if the government would not get involved in the manipulation in bond yields, the 10-year bond yield would rise to 6% by 2021. The 10-year yield is currently about 2.1%

If the United States starts heading on the path to 6%, the Fed “will not let the market price” and “manipulate interest rates down,” Gundlach said.

Gundlach said he is not backtracking on his 6% investment call. “We will go to 6% for sure if there is true free market pricing. The Fed has added a lot of information this year, which is contradictory to prior information,” he said.

As for the investing environment, he said 2019 is opposite of last year’s: “Gold is making money, bitcoin is making money, stocks are making money, bonds are making money,” Gundlach said.

“I’d rather own gold than bitcoin,” he said.

Gundlach said the S&P 500 Index has outperformed the major tech stocks since mid-2018, which he thinks will be the peak of the stock market. Gundlach says U.S. deficits “are showing no signs of going away” and that the budget deficits may get “much, much worse in the next recession.”

Overall, Gundlach said the U.S. government has a very bad debt-to-income problem, even in a supposedly growing economy. Gundlach says true liabilities of the U.S. government are around $23 trillion to $24 trillion.

Gundlach said if the budget deficit and current account deficit increase, that could be a precursor for a further decline in the dollar.

Reporting by Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Tom Brown and Lisa Shumaker