John Rice: No Green Shoots Here

Is the economy really showing signs of recovery? GE vice chairman John Rice isn’t buying into that notion, nor is he buying into the ‘green shoots’ theory for that matter. For now at least, the shoots to Rice remain mostly anecdotal.

Bloomberg: General Electric Co. Vice Chairman John Rice said he isn’t seeing an increase in orders even as U.S. economic statistics suggest the world’s largest economy may soon shift to a recovery.

I am not particularly of the green shoots group yet,” Rice said [Friday] to the Atlanta Press Club, referring to a phrase used by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke that described signs of a nascent recovery. “I have not seen it in our order patterns yet. At the macro level, there may be statistics suggesting the economy is starting to turn. I am not seeing it yet.”

“We see a world where good companies and good consumers can’t get all the credit we would like,” Rice said. “Companies with lots of cash on their balance sheet are worried about whether they will get what they need for working capital” and are cutting spending.

“Until that changes I don’t think you will see a significant rebound,” Rice said.

His second quoted paragraph might be a little self-serving there as he clearly tries to gin up support for more lending for his customer base, but at same time you can’t say he doesn’t have a point.

emphasis added

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