You know things are serious when leading mainstream economists and established international organizations continually revise downward their estimates for future growth.
The chart below shows successive Congressional Budget Committee estimates of the U.S. growth potential beginning in 2007 and the actual growth trend. Every year the estimates have been reduced and actual growth remains far below the estimated potential.
The following chart comes from the IMF. It shows a steady downward revision in predicted growth for so-called emerging market countries.
As the IMF says: ” This feature of repeated downward revisions to future growth is unique to the current downturn. In the past, we expected growth to bounce back (and it did). This time seems different.”
The lack of serious policy discussions by leading political and business leaders about causes and responses is far from reassuring.