Economy 'stronger than people think,' bank CEO says

Wells Fargo boss John Stumpf thinks growth will rebound in the second quarter.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 17, 2014 12:38PM
Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Caption: Chairman & CEO of Wells Fargo John Stumpf addresses the 2014 annual conference of the Export-Import Bank (EXIM) April 25, 2014 in Washington, DCBy Matthew J. Belvedere, CNBC

The U.S. economy is "stronger than people think," Wells Fargo (WFC) Chairman and CEO John Stumpf told CNBC on Thursday.


"We were all surprised by the first-quarter GDP," he said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "Who knows what second quarter will be, but I think it will surprise on the upside."


Gross domestic product contracted at a 2.9 percent annual rate the first quarter, the economy's worst performance in five years. Economists expect GDP to growth around 3 percent in the second quarter.


If you exclude housing, Stumpf said, the economy is better now than it was during the boom years of 2000 to 2008.


"Energy is booming, way better than it was then . . . autos, they might sell 17 million new vehicles this year." He also said U.S. manufacturing is coming back and so is agriculture.


"Commercial real estate, I was in Atlanta yesterday, you'd think there was a crane convention there. You go to almost every city, there are cranes everywhere," Stumpf said.


On the residential side of real estate, the Wells Fargo CEO said he's "quite bullish," noting that housing is up 8 percent year over year. But he did have some concerns.


"There's this view that credit is not as available, which is true in some cases. There's a lack of [home] inventory. In other cases, borrowers can't qualify. Student debt has some influence."


Stumpf said Wells Fargo's wide-ranging businesses reflect the larger economy.


"People think of us as mortgage . . . but there's 89 other businesses. We're the largest auto lender. We do more commercial estate, more energy, more [agriculture], more middle market, more small business," he said.


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Tags: WFC
24Comments
Jul 17, 2014 12:58PM
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No doubt his economy is better since he is part of the rich people that have gotten richer over the course of this depression. Piz on bankers.
Jul 17, 2014 12:51PM
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What a bunch of BS. Jobs are still lacking big time and there are empty stores, buildings and houses every where you go in any part of the country.
Jul 17, 2014 2:58PM
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-2.9% first qtr GDP is a stronger economy than we think?  LOL

 

ok

Jul 17, 2014 2:39PM
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Someone allowed to Launder Billions in drug money speaks? He should be under a jail cell; but is here telling you that everything is fine...

Banks Financing Mexico Gangs Admitted in Wells Fargo deal- Bloomberg
Jul 17, 2014 3:01PM
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Microsoft cutting 18k jobs because....wait for it.... "the economy is stronger than we think"

 

LOL

Jul 17, 2014 4:10PM
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To big to fail bank president thinks "the economy is better than people think". "if you exclude housing, banking, health care, transportation, service, industrials, agriculture, education and mining the remainder of the economy is on fire, excluding of course police and fire.
Jul 17, 2014 3:59PM
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"Economy stronger than people think"
For who, exactly?
Seriously, Stumpf. Explain to the millions of jobless people who have tried now for a year or more to find permanent, full-time, gainful employment how strong the economy is. Explain to the millions of people who have only found part-time, temporary employment...
Jul 17, 2014 7:03PM
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CEO "DUMBER THAN MOST PEOPLE THINK", SAYS PERSON WHO LIVES IN REALITY
Jul 17, 2014 1:22PM
Jul 18, 2014 11:23AM
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I guess if you can borrow unlimited amounts from the FED at near zero interest, this is how you feel...  But what about the rest of the country?
Jul 17, 2014 4:14PM
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I guess the stock market is our only measurement of economy? Remember Aug. 2007 when Bush said all is fine. Then the next year it all went to hllll by Oct. 2008. Seems it was all built on housing and war debt. Now we have a fed that is pumping it up again, no place else for people to get a return on money. CD's and savings accounts are zip. Some older people have to protect some of their principle. We all don't have millions and billions.
Jul 17, 2014 1:47PM
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Not that I'm in complete agreement, but the Economy is "stronger than what many seem to think".


In my opinion, much of this may be very Regional in nature, other places are still in distress.

But some of those places were in distress long before the Recession..


ie; Detroit,MI. Gary, IN.  New Orleans, LA., parts of the greater Chicago area, other Cities in the Southern States and California...etc.

Jul 17, 2014 2:58PM
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I know I am a hell of lot better off than I was in 2008! Stocks and real estate is up. Everybody I know also agrees with that view. Of course, there are always some who will put down the current situation to gain some political points.
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