Chase investing exec forecasts slowdown By Kimberly Peterson The Journal Gazette Wall Chief Investment Officer Peter Wall from JPMorgan Chaseâs New York office gave a mixed economic outlook for 2007 on Wednesday at a lunch attended by almost 300 people. âThe economy is at a key inflection point,â Wall said. âThereâs a lack of clarity.â He said JPMorgan Chase predicts some kind of economic slowdown, with a 30 percent chance of a full-blown recession, or a âhard landingâ and a 70 percent chance of economic growth slowing down followed by a recovery, or a âsoft landing.â âA lot of things have to go right for a soft landing, all we need is for a couple of things to go wrong for all bets to be off,â said Wall, who spoke Wednesday in the Anthony Ballroom at Grand Wayne Center. The economy could be at risk based on several factors, he said, including a sudden rise in energy prices, international conflict or political instability, a rise in interest rates or a further slide in the housing market. Wall said that his companyâs prediction for a slowdown is based partly on the U.S. gross domestic product, which is used to measure the growth of goods and services nationwide. The GDP has slowed from more than 6 percent growth last year to about 2 percent this year. Wall said that productivity levels are slowing and corporate profits, which have seen double-digit growth for more than a decade, seem to be leveling off as well. Wall said one of his top concerns for next year is the declining housing market. But he also said there are promising signs that the housing market may not lead the nation into a recession. âThe worst of times look to be behind us in the housing market,â Wall said. And because Indiana did not see the high appreciation in housing prices that other regions did, Wall said the state would probably be less affected even if things did get worse. Job growth looks solid and manufacturing is doing well, Wall said. But he also warned that the problems of the Big Three U.S. automakers may hurt the economy. âThe Big Three are in really bad shape, and weâre going to see the fallout of that,â Wall said. Investors with money in stocks or bonds should expect single-digit returns and a bumpy road ahead. âWhat we expect to see is a little more volatility in the fourth quarter,â he said.