Economists are beginning to embrace a new scenario for the U.S. economy, one in which a predicted rebound in 2014 never materializes but tepid growth and Federal Reserve stimulus are extended. Although another recession may not be in the cards, the outlook remains less than ideal for business investment, said Dominic Konstam, global head of rates research at Deutsche Bank. "All else equal, our investment model that is derived from profits now clearly shows falling investment spend in 2014," Konstam said, adding that "the corporate sector has little economic reason to invest."

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