BNP Paribas USA CEO Jean-Yves Fillion argued on Thursday that the U.S. economy remains one of the “most resilient” in the world despite economic “headwinds.”
Speaking with “Mornings with Maria” on Thursday, Fillion pointed to those “headwinds that we have to navigate through,” which he said include a “hawkish Fed,” inflation, and the geopolitical situation, which “brings volatility and uncertainty.”
Fillion’s comments come one day after the Labor Department said that the consumer price index, a broad measure of the price for everyday goods including gasoline, groceries and rents, rose 8.5% in July from a year ago, below the 9.1% year-over-year surge recorded in June. Prices were unchanged in the one-month period from June.
Those figures were both lower than the 8.7% headline figure and 0.2% monthly gain forecast by Refinitiv economists, likely a welcoming sign for the Federal Reserve as it seeks to cool price gains and tame consumer demand.
Still, experts cautioned that while the July slowdown is a step in the right direction, inflation remains painfully high and could be slow to return to the Fed’s preferred target of 2%.
The Fed has been taking aggressive action to try and curb persistent inflation and bring it back to the central bank’s 2% target.
The Federal Reserve has moved to tighten policy at the fastest pace in three decades. Policymakers already approved a 75-basis point rate increase in both June and July.
On Friday, it was revealed that U.S. job growth unexpectedly accelerated in July, defying fears of a slowdown in hiring even as the labor market confronts the double threats of persistent inflation and rising interest rates.
Employers added 528,000 jobs in July, the Labor Department said in its monthly payroll report released Friday, blowing past the 250,000 jobs forecast by Refinitiv economists. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, edged down to 3.5%, the lowest level since the COVID-19 pandemic began more than two years ago.
The uptick in hiring comes amid a growing consensus that the economy is losing momentum as the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates at the fastest pace in decades to wrestle inflation under control.
With back-to-back quarterly declines in gross domestic product – the broadest measure of goods and services produced in the nation – the economy meets the technical criteria for a recession.
Many economists have argued that the strong jobs market has prevented the U.S. from sliding into a downturn.
“I work for a firm that has presence in 60 countries with boots on the ground,” Fillion told host Maria Bartiromo on Thursday. “I can tell you this: [the] U.S. economy remains one of the most resilient economies in the world.”
On Thursday Fillion also discussed the bank’s latest earnings report, noting that the firm had “shown some very good second quarter results,” with revenue growth over 8%.
He pointed to “good cost control” and that the “cost of risk remains low,” which he said “leads for a net income that is actually growing faster than revenues.”
“[It’s] a good situation to be in for the bank, and the U.S. bank I’m leading here is experiencing the very same situation.”
FOX Business’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.