US employment figures released today show a slowdown in the pace of new jobs growth, with just 155,000 extra non-farm payroll positions created in December. That does mean that new jobs are still being created, of course, but with the fiscal cliff deal looking more and more like a poor fudge every day, the country's debt still going up at a frightening rate, and months of bitter wrangling ahead over public spending cuts there is little in the way of light on the horizon for the American economy.
Could 2013 be the year that it all comes crashing down? Will a huge debt and prolonged political gridlock cause America's lenders to lose confidence in the ability of the world's biggest economy to pay its debts? Could this even spark a run on the dollar? Perhaps these worst case scenarios are not so likely, but there is every chance that US growth could slow down to a standstill - or even go back into negative territory.
I'd love to get 'the wisdon of the crowd' on this one - what is your prediction for the US economy in 2013?