Currency headwinds may not be dominating headlines this earnings season as they did in the first quarter, but the strong dollar is still taking its toll on America’s biggest companies, said KC Mathews, chief investment officer at UMB Bank. 'Once we get some stabilization in currencies it will help global conglomerates but until then it’s going to be a struggle,' said Mathews. 'I think the dollar will remain strong for quite some time because the U.S. economy is doing fine. We just saw 2.3% growth for the second quarter and we will see 2% to 2.5% for the year. But the other issue is global economies. They continue to struggle and that will lead to a strong dollar.' The Chinese economy in particular has been losing steam and that has popped up in this latest round of corporate results. United Technologies, for example, blamed the Chinese slowdown for a dip in sales in its Otis division. Still, Mathews does not believe that China’s problems alone will sink U.S. stocks. 'The government is telling us 7% growth but we don’t believe that,' said Mathews. 'When you look at some of the supporting data such as railcar volume or electricity consumption, I don’t think the economy is growing near that. The issue is whether it is growing at 6% which would be fine for a $13 trillion economy, or 4% or something less.' Mathews said he is in the camp of 6% growth so he does not see a cooling China to have a major impact on the U.S. economy. In fact, he is much more concerned about a slowing Europe in the wake of the Greek crisis than China’s slowdown.
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