The U.S. economy is skating on thin ice although President Barack Obama's $447 billion jobs plan could steer the country away from murkier waters, says Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist for IHS Global Insight.
"We are not in recessionary territory, but we are vulnerable to being blown off course," says Gault, according to MarketWatch.
Gault is forecasting the economy to grow 1.8 percent in 2012 and 2.3 percent in 2013, although approval of Obama's jobs program could improve those predictions.
"I would like to see the president’s proposal enacted," Gault says, saying that if it were passed, the economy could grow 2.6 percent next year instead of 1.8 percent.
Debt woes in Europe and their potential threats to global financial systems serve as the main perils to U.S. economic stability.
Should Greece default and spark a global banking crisis, the economy could be due for more shockwaves than the one stemming from the 2008 Lehman Brothers collapse.
"It's what happens to the other periphery economies" if Greece defaults, Gault says.
European authorities may find it tougher to help larger economies like Italy, should the need arise.
Stock markets have embarked on wild swings due to fears that any defaults in Europe will lead to banking problems there and in the U.S., and officials across the Atlantic say Europe depends on the survival of the euro.
"Europe is in danger," says Polish Finance Minister Jasek Rostowski, according to the AFP newswire.
Poland currently holds the EU presidency
"If the euro zone breaks up, the European Union will not be able to survive, with all the consequences that one can imagine."
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