U.S. economic growth will slow down further in 2012, even though recent data showed more upbeat signs, a chief economist of Conference Board said on Thursday in New York.
Bart van Ark, chief economist of Conference Board, a global economic research group, said at a press briefing about the economic outlook 2012, "while some indicators in U.S. performed above expectations, such as housing starts, the consumer price, but our confidence measures, whether consumer confidence or CEO confidence in economy remain very weak."
He believed slow growth and high unemployment rate will become the new normal for the U.S. economy.A Japan-style lost decade should come as no surprise in view of ongoing austerity plans both in the U.S. and in Europe.
"Many of the advanced economies are going to follow the Japanese model of deflationary slow growth environment. This would be an environment in which we are not going to see the recovery that we expect in 2013 to 2016," said Van Ark.
According to Conference Board's report of Global Economic Outlook 2012, U.S. economy will grow at a pace of 1.1 percent next year, lower that 1.5 percent in 2011.
Van Ark cited the "too many risks" for U.S. economic outlook, namely outside European debt crisis and internally the new round of debt debate.
According to Conference Board's leading indicators, European recession risk "hugely increased."
Van Ark said the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in this region is becoming a banking risk, forming a big threat to the rest world.
If there was a breakup of the eurozone, Van Ark said, risks would pass through different channels, most probably through financial channels to the United States and the American economy would almost immediately plunge into recession.
But for now, he thought, U.S. growth is more threatened by domestic high unemployment rate and soaring debt, which has limited consumer spending.
He expected the global economy would also slow down in 2012 due to advanced economies' struggling situation.
The Conference Board foresaw a 3.2-percent growth rate for the world economy, further down from 3.9 percent this year.
Besides, van Ark said the emerging economies would also lose some steam in the coming year, posing more pressure on the global economy.