Tuesday, May 26, 2009

U.S. economy at risk of double-dip recession

Green shoots or false dawn? - 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. The U.S. government has stepped in as lender and spender of last resort, but its deep pockets are not bottomless. Waning political and investor appetite for taking on more debt could stand in the way of any additional big spending plans.

"When you remove the government stimulus, what the private sector can generate in terms of growth feels like a recession," said Jeffrey Rosenberg, head of global credit strategy at Banc of America Securities Merrill Lynch in New York. Rosenberg 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. It also calls into question the staying power of a recent stock market rally. The Standard & Poor's 500 is up more than 30 percent from an early March low. 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.

Now you are wondering 'Where is the connection to Baja Business?" - Well, the saying is: "If the the US has a cold Mexico suffers a pneumonia" - the reality is that since fall 2008 the US has already a pneumonia!!!

Read the whole report - and the full credit for this content - at/go to Reuters

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