The economy grew 2.4 percent last year, its fastest pace since 2010, and many analysts are enthusiastic about this year, predicting growth of about 3 percent.
Hedge fund luminary Paul Singer, CEO of Elliott Management, isn't one of them.
"It is hard to imagine the American economy lighting up under [current] conditions," he wrote in a letter to investors obtained by CNBC
That's the case "even without the gravitational forces exerted by Europe's travails, the strengthening of the dollar, the oil crash, Japan's highly uncertain path, potential economic changes in China, the uncertain event stream of Islamic jihad, Russian expansionism and continued chaos in the Middle East," Singer said.
He said change is unlikely in Washington, to the economy's detriment.
"President Obama gives no sign of wanting to work with Congress, and also gives no sign of wanting to pursue a different agenda," Singer wrote. "Thus, the current tax and regulatory landscape is likely to remain in place at least for the next couple of years."
Singer also doesn't have high hopes for the European economy.
"With euro interest rates at record lows, we cannot imagine that the ECB's recently announced QE [quantitative easing] program will improve Europe's serious economic situation," he noted. "On the other hand, QE might have unpredictable and large negative repercussions if it triggers a generalized loss of confidence."
Economist and financial author Robert Dickie also sees problems in the U.S. economy. Strong numbers like recent jobs data "really hide some underlying foundational problems within our country," he said told the "America's Forum
" program on Newsmax TV
Most of the jobs created since the Great Recession ended in 2009 have been part-time, he said. "Although unemployment numbers are dropping, many people don't have the full-time employment that they enjoyed in the past with benefits."
In many cases, "they're trying to cobble together two or three jobs to make ends meet," Dickie noted.
The jobless rate dropped to 5.6 percent in December, the lowest level since June 2008. And the economy produced 2.95 million jobs last year, the most since 1999.
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