The United States economy could be on the verge of a recession, according to analysts at Switzerland's largest bank, UBS.
In its annual global outlook, the bank said the situation in the US had reached the point where a downturn was possible, although it should be avoided.
UBS analysts pointed out the US Federal Reserve had cut its main interest rate a number of times, enough to ward off such a situation.
Economic growth in the country should be less than two per cent next year.
The bank warned that the depressed American housing market and its effects on the financial sector and consumer behaviour would also affect the global economy.
Economic growth worldwide would reach 4.8 per cent in 2008, versus 5.2 per cent this year, it said. In Europe, that rate is likely to hit 1.7 per cent, but salaries are expected to increase in the years to come.