Dave Cote, chairman CEO of Honeywell International Inc. and vice chairman of Business Roundtable, appeared on CNBC's Squawkbox (video) this morning to discuss third quarter earnings and the state of the economy, current and upcoming. Although slow growth is most likely in 2012 and recession is possible, conditions exist that make an "impressive" economic recovery in 2012 possible, Cote said, IF governments get things right.
From the transcript:
When we look at 2012 it's really tough to predict exactly what is going to happen. This is as an amorphous of times as I’ve seen to predict what’s going to be coming. The way I’ve taken to describing it within our own company is: We used to have the uncertainty of demand. We layered on that the uncertainty of regulation, and now we've compounded that with the uncertainty of government financing both in Europe and the U.S. So it causes everybody to just say, let’s be a little careful until we actually know what’s going to happen.
And government is going to have a very big role here in deciding what happens in 2012. The way we’ve taken to describing it internally is to say the high probability outcome is a slow-growth economy, because governments in both regions will do the minimum amount necessary to get by. Plus, when you look at things like non-residential construction, residential construction, auto-build, there isn’t as far as the last time we went through this. But, still, a slow growth economy is not something that's exciting.
Now there are two other possibilities. One is recession, because government does not do what they need to in both Europe and the U.S.
Now there is an upside case, however, also. None of us is counting on it too much, but there is an upside case. And if governments both did what they should, there is a basis for an impressive global recovery ahead of us.
Europe is not in a recession right now; the EU economy rebounded in September, Cote said.
As always, our thanks to CNBC for posting video and rough transcripts from these interviews.
UPDATE (11:45 a.m.): Squawkbox also interviewed Harman International CEO Dinesh Paliwal on the company's great earnings report. (Video) Interesting dicussion about the audio company's relationship with the auto industry and Harman's emphasis on global innovation.