ROSENBERG: ‘Over 40% of job growth in January and February was weather-related’

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Gluskin Sheff + Associates’ chief economist and strategist David Rosenberg doubled down on his bearish call for the U.S. economy in an interview with CNBC today.

He even asserted that “over 40 percent of the job growth in January and February was weather-related.”

That would mean that more than 193,802 of the 484,504 jobs added over this time period were simply due to nice weather.

“What happens in January and February is you get a bell curve on the data because half the country is normally snowed under,” Rosenberg explained. He estimated that the household sector had saved $30 billion in lower utility bills, and that this created unusual strength in the household sector.

Without such a mild winter, he suggests, the data would have continued to illustrate what has been a deeply dismal recovery.

With all the stimulus being provided by the federal government and the Federal Reserve, “of course you’re going to have some growth,” Rosenberg admits. Even so, “this goes down as the weakest economic recovery ever, despite the government stimulus—and that tells you something.”

HIs assertion that “we’re basically reliving what happened last [year]” proved the icing on the cake to his bearish call.

Even so, Rosenberg thinks there might be some bright spots for investors in the stock market. “Corporate balance sheets we know are in great shape,” he said, but “you’re really not buying GDP when you’re buying the stock market.” He pointed out that the high yield market is “still a pretty good place to put your money” given its return over Treasuries.

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