The U.S. economy grew at a better-than-expected rate of 1% in the fourth quarter of 2015, but still down from 2% the prior quarter.

Jose Rasco, chief investment strategist at HSBC Private Bank Americas (HSBC) - Get Report , expects growth of 2% to 2.25% in 2016 and he certainly is not seeing a recession anytime soon.

"Look at durable goods orders, look at retail sales, we've seen some good numbers in the U.S. economy," said Rasco. "They have been mixed but we have seen some good numbers that assure us we won't be in recession this year."

Meanwhile, the longer-term rate of inflation nearly doubled in January to 1.3%, finally approaching the Federal Reserve's 2% target for another rate hike. Excluding food and energy, prices rose .3%, the largest increase since January 2012.

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Rasco said the hotter-than-expected inflation data is a good thing even if it does spur the Federal Reserve to raise rates this year.

"Owners' equivalent rent is starting to take off which is traditionally a good thing because if rents are going up that means housing will probably follow," said Rasco. "We don't expect it to boom, but it should be up which is a positive for the economy on multiple levels."

As for widening credit spreads, Rasco said he is not worried about the troubles in high yield sparking a credit crisis. Nor is he overly worried about problems in China's equity market creating problems for the U.S. economy.

"The National People's Congress starts March 5th and we are expecting a major fiscal response from them there," said Rasco. "With more monetary policy and some signs of stability in that economy we see potential upside to growth, but nothing dramatic."

"We remain focused on equities where we favor income investing in safe secure blue chips that provide a good dividend yield and give a good return to investors," said Rasco.