Double-dip recession for US economy is looming...

The U.S. economy appears destined for several years of weak growth and high unemployment that leave it vulnerable to a recession relapse after the massive dose of government stimulus wears off. While tepid growth looks likely to resume late this year and build modestly into 2010, the credit bust has left households and businesses unable or unwilling to borrow and spend as freely as they did before the crisis.

Jeffrey Rosenberg, head of global credit strategy at Banc of America Securities Merrill Lynch in New York. thinks the U.S. economy may trudge along at a sluggish growth rate somewhere in the range of 0.5 percent to 1.5 percent while banks recover from the credit crisis, which could take another three years. "If that's what you're able to generate, that economy is not generating the job growth required to bring the unemployment rate down," Rosenberg said. This is a much darker outlook than the one put forward by President Barack Obama's administration in its latest budget projections, which show economic growth bouncing back to 3.2 percent next year and hitting 4.6 percent by 2012.

The gloomier scenario assumes that banks take years to recover from losses that some economists think could reach $4 trillion; consumers curb borrowing and spending as they repair the $11.2 trillion hole blown through their savings last year; and the explosion in government debt drives up interest rates. If the forecast proves accurate, it would leave the economy susceptible to a shock, such as a big jump in oil prices, and could force the United States to issue even more debt than investors expect. That would likely increase borrowing costs, both for the government and the private sector.

read the whole report at Reuters

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