He said in an interview Friday morning with CNBC that the market volatility of late had the potential to impact CEO confidence, and could lead to more layoffs.
He said (emphasis ours):
Having a market decline like this in the first couple of weeks of the year really, in my mind, puts a negativity across the economy. A negativity to every CEO who is looking at his or her stock price. A negativity related to business and the forward thinking about businesses. I actually believe you're going to start seeing more layoffs in the middle part of the first quarter, definitely the second quarter because of this. If we don't see some swift rebound – and as I said I think we're going to have probably more pain before we have that lift – but I do believe by the second half of the year the markets going to be higher.
"We're not forecasting a recession — I think the US economy looks pretty good at this point," he continued.
Fink also had some interesting comments on consumer spending (emphasis ours):
We have to find out why consumers are not spending their energy savings. It's significant in all the years, when we've had these big declines, the consumers use that savings to spend and consume other things. We're not seeing that, we're seeing some consumption. My fear – and we've been talking about retirement in America – my fear is we're starting to – people coming to terms with what they have an inadequacy in their retirement.
The CEO of the world's largest investor thinks layoffs are on the way
Laurence 'Larry' Fink, chairman and chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc., speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. Fink said falling energy prices and a stronger dollar are weighing on the U.S. economy, which will be lucky to see 2 percent growth in 2016. Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 03: New York Times financial columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin (L) participates in a panel discussion with Blackrock CEO Larry Fink at the New York Times 2015 DealBook Conference at the Whitney Museum of American Art on November 3, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Times)
Laurence 'Larry' Fink, chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc., right, and Lori Fink arrive at a state dinner in honor of Chinese President Xi Jinping at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015. The U.S. and China announced agreement on broad anti-hacking principles aimed at stopping the theft of corporate trade secrets though President Barack Obama pointedly said he has not ruled out invoking sanctions for violators. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CNBC EVENTS -- Pictured: Carl Icahn, Chairman, Icahn Enterprises, in heated debate with Larry Fink, Blackrock CEO, at the 2015 Delivering Alpha on July 15, 2015 -- (Photo by: Adam Jeffery/CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Indra Nooyi, chief executive officer of PepsiCo Inc., center, Laurence 'Larry' Fink, chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc., left, and Lori Fink stand for a photograph at the Robin Hood Foundation's annual benefit in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, May 12, 2015. The foundation fights poverty in New York City by supporting more than 200 nonprofits with financial and technical assistance. Photographer: Amanda L. Gordon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Laurence 'Larry' Fink, chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc., stands for a photograph during the Credit Suisse Global Megatrends Conference 2015 in Singapore, on Tuesday, April 21, 2015. China's leadership is making progress in economic reforms that should help moderate future boom and bust cycles, Fink said. Photographer: Sam Kang Li/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Left to right, Laurence 'Larry' Fink, chief executive of BlackRock Inc., Joaquim Levy, Brazil's finance minister, Haruhiko Kuroda, governor of the Bank of Japan (BOJ), Benoit Coeure, executive board member of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, and Zhu Min, deputy managing director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), participate in a session on the final day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015. World leaders, influential executives, bankers and policy makers attend the 45th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos from Jan. 21-24. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Laurence 'Larry' Fink, chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc., reacts at the International Symposium of the Bank of France policy conference in Paris, France, on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. Central banks cannot propel economic growth alone and governments must take steps too if expansions are to speed up, policy makers and investors said. Photographer: Kosuke Okahara/Bloomberg via Getty Images