US economy on track, but avoid retail: Blackstone’s Schwarzman

Stephen Schwarzman, the CEO of Blackstone Group (BX), the world’s largest alternative assets manager, on Friday told FOX Business, the U.S. economy is poised for “several years of a good run.”

“I think that the U.S. is in really good shape,” he said during a wide-ranging exclusive interview with Maria Bartiromo on “Mornings with Maria.”

Schwarzman cited “very strong activity” in Blackstone’s portfolio and record-level business confidence in his outlook.

Last week, Blackstone reported first-quarter earnings per share fell 20% year-over-year but still beat Wall Street expectations. During a presentation Schwarzman said institutional, retail and insurance industry investments resulted in more than $18 billion of inflows during the quarter and drove total assets under management to a new record of $450 billion.

Schwarzman said while it’s good to “spread” investments around industries, they are staying away from retail.

“We’ve had almost no exposure to that business, for example, which has been good,” he said. “We see life from a perspective of what we can buy and what we can improve. So we keep away from certain industries.”

“Sometimes it’s like a doctor’s “do no harm,” he added.