Tampa Bay was enjoying having chamber of commerce weather Monday, but inside the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa, the forecast was gloomy.
Wells Fargo senior economist Mark Vitner told a select group of clients at a luncheon that he anticipates the U.S. economy won't grow faster rate than 2 percent "for the next couple of years, and probably through the middle of the decade."
That means it will take far longer to reach the point where the economy grows enough to cut unemployment down to acceptable levels. "We'll probably be in this territory another 10 years," he said.
The European debt crisis may be getting the most publicity, but Vitner cited bigger concerns over the availability of credit and political infighting that is forestalling fixes to both the U.S. debt overhang and the housing crisis. He predicted Florida housing prices would fall in October and bottom out in the middle of 2012.