Improved capital and stock prices are proving that more than small “green shoots” are nudging the economy back to a recovery and setting the stage for IPOs, LBOs and M&As, Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman said Wednesday, Reuters reports.

Rather than a double-dip recession, Schwarzman admitted, weak consumer spending and tighter credit will continue to dampen improvements. Speaking before the Super Return Middle East Conference in Dubai, he said, “We do not expect the U.S. economy to slip back into recession, but we do believe that weak consumer spending and continued constraints on bank lending will dampen the U.S. economic recovery in 2010 and 2011.”

In addition, he added, “No one knows how long the window will be open for IPOs. Historically, it’s been a pretty streaky kind of market, and it responds well to the prospects for economic growth.”

Schwarzman said Blackstone is interested in buying established companies in stable businesses in the $3 billion to $4 billion range, but is avoiding cyclical companies.

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