The chances of an economic slowdown are low in the next 12 months but more than even -- 55 per cent -- within the next two years, according to Emmanuel “Manny” Roman, chief executive officer of Pacific Investment Management Co.

The economy is relatively healthy now, especially in the U.S. and China, with the odds of a recession in 12 months about 15 per cent to 20 per cent, Roman said Friday in a webcast interview in New York with David Solomon, the incoming CEO of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., as part of the firm’s “Talks at GS” series. But the possibility of rising inflation from a tight labor market or other causes could spur the Federal Reserve to accelerate interest rate hikes, which could put the brakes on economic growth, according to Roman.

“The risk is that somehow we got something wrong,” he said. “Either there’s more inflation than we think there is or either unemployment goes down really dramatically and the labor market becomes very, very tight.”

Pimco, a unit of Allianz SE, oversees more than US$1.7 trillion in assets. Roman worked for Goldman for 18 years and headed Man Group Plc before he was named Pimco’s CEO in 2016.