Billionaire Warren Buffett told CNBC he’s unfazed by the weak economic growth recorded in the first quarter, saying his view of the recovering U.S. economy remains the same.
“I’m a broken record on this subject but since the fall of 2009, literally, it’s been about 2 percent a year,” Buffett said from Omaha, Nebraska, in an interview that aired Friday on “Squawk Box.”
“I don’t think the figures are necessarily accurate when you get to tenths and all of that,” he said, referring to the government’s estimate a week ago that gross domestic productgrew at just an annual rate of 0.7 percent in the first three months of 2017.
As chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett gets a broad view of the economy through the businesses that Berkshire owns — from furniture to insurance to food to real estate to railroads.
The recovery from the Great Recession has been “very steady,” Buffett said. “Autos are falling off a little now but housing is good, and most of our businesses are doing a little better.”
Buffett said he would not be surprised to see first-quarter growth revised higher. “It’s not perfect reporting,” he added. “Now what I see isn’t perfect either obviously,” he said.
GDP in the first-quarter has a history of being routinely understated, as a CNBC review of decades of data showed.
The economy grew 1.6 percent for all of 2016, its worst performance since 2011, after expanding 2.6 percent in 2015.