Billionaire investor Ken Griffin says the US is still headed for a recession – but he's bullish on China despite a disappointing rebound

Ken Griffin.E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service/Getty Images

  • Citadel founder Ken Griffin said he’s bracing for a US recession in a new interview, per Bloomberg.

  • He also said he expects the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates once more in 2023.

  • The billionaire added that he sees China growing more than 5%, even though its rebound has been muted so far.

Citadel founder Ken Griffin is still anticipating a US recession but holds a more bullish view on China, according to a Bloomberg report.

In an interview in Hong Kong, the billionaire — whose flagship hedge fund has returned 6.1% through May this year — said he’s pointing his attention toward high-yield credit markets during a potential downturn.

“We’re much more cautious about 2024,” he said, per Bloomberg. “We’ll look at the credit markets as a source of opportunity. Credit should be a meaningful contributor later this year.”

He added that he expects the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates one more time in 2023 then stop.

On Wednesday, central bankers will announce their latest rate decision, with markets largely anticipating no adjustment as inflation continues to cool. The latest inflation data showed consumer prices climbed 4% annually in May, less than forecasts.

Meanwhile, Griffin holds a bullish outlook on China, although the world’s second largest economy has fallen short expectations for a bigger post-COVID rebound.

He anticipates economic growth there to beat Beijing’s own target, even as broader investor confidence remains tepid.

“There’s a general level of uncertainty as to the level of growth in China today,” Griffin said, noting that his firm anticipates an expansion of more than 5%. “We’re actually more constructive on growth.”

He added that regardless of who wins the next US presidential election, Citadel’s strategy in the region will not change.

“The scale and scope of the Chinese equity market is incredibly attractive to us as investors,” he said.

In May, Institutional Investor named Griffin as the highest-earning hedge fund manager after Citadel’s flagship fund climbed 38.1% in 2022.

According to the rankings, Griffin took home $4.1 billion in earnings last year, the most ever in the history of the list.

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