Financial forecast: Doom, gloom and little growth

Economists from all sides of the political system are sounding a unified theme for the new year: The outlook for economic growth in America isn’t good for now or in the future.

In fact, the economist say slow growth will be with us for most of the next decade.

And a depressed housing market will keep the screws on the economy.

Median home values have fallen more than 30 percent since 2005

“It will be difficult to have a robust recovery while housing and commercial real estate are depressed,” Harvard Professor and former director of the National Bureau of Economic Research said in a speech to the American Economic Association’s annual gathering of top economists from around the country.

The economists — conservative, moderate and liberal — predicted an expansion of less than 2 percent a year over the next decade.

That will lead to less spending, something needed to spur the consumer-oriented American economy.

One economist, Harvard’s Kenneth Rogoff, said the federal government is sustaining a false impression of economic stability because it has propped up an ailing financial system with zero-cost loans.

“There’s something of an illusion of profitability,” he told the gathering.