A statistical rebound in the second half of this year could be driven by a number of factors, according to Morgan Stanley Asia CEO Stephen Roach, including the Obama administration's stimulus bill.
But don't count on anything serious, Roach says.
Any 2009 upturn is likely to be anemic at best and not strong enough to keep the unemployment rate from rising to near 10 percent over the next year and a half.
"Since it's hard to call that a recovery, it looks to me as if this recession won't end until late 2010 or early 2011," Roach writes in The New York Times.
Any whiffs of growth are likely to herald a false dawn, because the consumer remains in terrible shape, Roach says.
With both the housing and the credit bubbles having burst, (Americans’) stock portfolios down and their jobs threatened, consumers have been shocked into a new frugality,” Roach observes.
“They are likely to be restrained for years to come — and the consumption share of gross domestic product is still 71 percent.”
Though Warren Buffett remains optimistic about long-range economic health, in his recent letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, he, too, says recovery isn’t going to happen anytime soon.
"We're certain … that the economy will be in shambles throughout 2009 — and, for that matter, probably well beyond,” Buffett writes.
“But that conclusion does not tell us whether the stock market will rise or fall."
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