NOURIEL ROUBINI: These Factors Mean America Is In For A Long, Slow Recovery

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While the risk of a disorderly crisis in the eurozone is well recognised, a more sanguine view of the United States has prevailed.For the last three years, the consensus has been that the US economy was on the verge of a robust and self-sustaining recovery that would restore above-potential growth.

That turned out to be wrong, as a painful process of balance-sheet deleveraging – reflecting excessive private-sector debt, and then its carryover to the public sector – implies that the recovery will remain, at best, below-trend for many years to come.

Even this year, the consensus got it wrong, expecting a recovery to above-trend  annual GDP growth – faster than 3%. But the first-half growth rate looks set to come in closer to 1.5% at best, even below 2011’s dismal 1.7%.

And now, after getting the first half of 2012 wrong, many are repeating the fairy tale that a combination of lower oil prices, rising auto sales, recovering house prices, and a resurgence of US manufacturing will boost growth in the second half of the year and fuel above-potential growth by 2013.

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