NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The risk of a double-dip recession is getting a lot of attention, but even that grim prediction could prove a little too optimistic.
Disappointing job reports, weakness in housing and consumer spending and problems in world financial markets have raised concerns about the U.S. economy stalling out later this year. Now some economists are starting to talk about an even worse fate: a prolonged period of very weak growth, a so-called “lost decade.”
“The probability of a lost decade is significantly greater than a double dip,” said Sung Won Sohn, economics professor at Cal State University Channel Islands.
“We don’t have too many engines of growth functioning right now — housing, consumer spending, exports are all sputtering. I have a hard time seeing where we can get 3% economic growth back.”
A lost decade, or something like it, could feel like a never-ending recession to many Americans, as the economy does not grow fast enough to recoup lost jobs, and investments like homes and stocks continue to lose value.