• Wells Fargo's CEO said there is "no question" of an economic downturn and a recession would be hard to avoid.
  • The strength of businesses and consumers would make any recession short and not deep, Charlie Scharf told the Wall Street Journal.
  • He said markets are reacting to the Fed tightening monetary policy to tame inflation without causing a recession.

Wells Fargo's CEO said there is "no question" of an economic downturn in the US and a recession looks difficult to avoid.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal's "Future of Everything Festival" on Tuesday, Charlie Scharf said, "It's going to be hard to avoid some kind of recession."

He said business and consumers are still very strong, but the world is reacting to the Federal Reserve as it raises interest rates to tame surging inflation.

"You've got the Fed saying the economy is running too hot, that we need to slow economic growth," Scharf said. "Rates are going to rise, and it's going to change the dynamic of the health of the consumer and business over a period of time," saying that this strength would deteriorate.

US inflation is running at 40-year highs and the Fed is under pressure to control it before it harms the economy. But there is concern the central bank could tip the economy into a recession by hiking rates too aggressively. The Fed raised interest rates by 50 basis points in May, the biggest increase at one meeting in 22 years. It has signaled similarly aggressive rate hikes to follow.

Scharf said while an economic downturn in the US is guaranteed and a recession seems hard to escape from, the resilience of businesses and consumers would dampen its impact.  

"The fact that everyone is so strong going into this should hopefully provide a cushion such that whatever recession there is, if there is one, is short and not all that deep," he said.

Concerns of a recession vary on Wall Street. Bank of America and Deutsche Bank say the US is certain to enter into recession. Others are less pessimistic, with JPMorgan and UBS acknowledging that economic pressures will persist, but don't see a full-on slowdown.

The former CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, also warned of a very high of risk of recession for the US economy this week and said companies and consumers should prepare for it. He said the Fed would have to slow demand and slow the economy by hiking rates to control inflation, saying "And that's going to involve some pain."

Read more: Recession watch: The investing chief at an $80 billion firm says markets are overplaying the risks. He lays out why some experts are getting it wrong and what investors should do.

Read the original article on Business Insider