Warren Buffett, the Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway said the economy of the United State States is not booming. However, he emphasized that the country’s growth rate is not bad.
During an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Alley, Buffett noted that U.S. economy is growing in the range of 2% to 2.5% range year-over-year over the past six quarters. The billionaire investor said, “We’re still on the path we’ve been on for six years. That’s not a bad rate, but it’s not a booming rate either.”
Buffett made his comment as investors worldwide are wondering whether the Federal Reserve would finally decide to raise interest rates after the recent global stock market rout. The equity markets worldwide suffered a massive selloff due to concerns regarding the slowdown of the Chinese economy.
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Last week, Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that a hard landing for the Chinese economy poses a threat to the global economic growth. She also stated that impending interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve will likely increase the market volatility worldwide.
In July, the IMF reiterated its call to the Federal Reserve to delay raising interest rates until the first half of 2016. The international creditor said the central bank should wait until it sees greater signs of wage or price inflation.
Buffett on U.S. interest rates
When asked about the existing interest rates in the United States, Buffett expressed uncertainty whether the Federal Reserve would move forward with its plan this year.
Buffett said, "If our rates got substantially higher than Europe's, I don't think that would be good for exports in this country. In economics, you can never do one thing. There is always a 'then what' and I think the 'then what' of raising rates while Europe's trying to keep them low could have some consequences down the line."
Buffett does not consider Fed action when making investment decisions
He added that policy makers are monitoring everything because it is their job, and they are obtaining more data. Buffett pointed out that he never made investment decisions based on what the Federal Reserve will do or not to do near-term or long-term.
He said, “When we decided to buy Precision Castparts, there wasn’t one word of conversation with my partner Charlie or with our board of directors about Fed action. Berkshire Hathaway agreed to acquire Precision Castparts for $37.2 billion in cash last month.
Furthermore, Buffett said, "If you guarantee me that interest rates would be 100 basis points higher for the next 20 years, I'd be buying stocks."
Moreover, Buffet said Berkshire Hathaway would probably invest $32 billion over the next four to five months. "I still got money to buy. I'll never go below $20 billion in cash,” he said.