President Donald Trump contacted JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s Jamie Dimon, Bank of America Corp.'s Brian Moynihan and Citigroup Inc.'s Michael Corbat to ask about the state of the U.S. consumer after stock markets plunged Aug. 14 when the yield curve inverted, CNBC reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
An inverted yield curve, or a scenario wherein the yield on short-term U.S. Treasurys is higher than the yield on long-term U.S. Treasurys, has historically preceded recessions.
The three CEOs said American consumers would be better off if issues such as the trade war were resolved, according to one of the sources. Another person said the CEOs told the president that the trade war is damaging the outlook for capital expenditures. Trump and the three executives also reportedly discussed the Federal Reserve and the response of central banks around the world to ease monetary conditions in the face of a global economic slowdown.
The call lasted about 20 minutes and followed a meeting the three CEOs held with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Washington.
"We have nothing to fear about a recession right now except for the fear of recession," Moynihan later told Bloomberg News in an Aug. 16 interview.
U.S. retail sales in July comfortably beat expectations, with a seasonally adjusted monthly rate of 0.7% in July compared with the forecast of 0.3%. Analysts said the data shows that U.S. consumer spending has proven to be strong despite mounting economic headwinds but warned consumer spending could lose steam if the trade war heats up further.