While economists have predicted U.S. GDP growth of 3.1% over the next 12 months, Mellon Capital Management foresees growth of 2.0% -- primarily due to government policy stalemates and the lingering impact of the debt crisis in Europe.

Nonetheless, profits for the companies in the Standard & Poor’s Index will increase 6.8% over the next year, well below the 14.1% consensus forecast, Mellon said in a report titled “Impact From The Recent Turmoil: A Macroeconomic Outlook.”

“While our models are forecasting earnings well below the consensus, the situation appears to be far better than 2008, when the probability for negative GDP growth rose to 30% before the Lehman failure,” said Jonathan Xiong, managing director and global investment strategist at Mellon’s global asset allocation group. “This time, even if U.S. GDP growth falls to zero percent, we believe the companies in the S&P 500 should post earnings gains since they derive nearly half of their earnings from outside the U.S.”

Mellon also believes that peripheral nations to the European debt crisis will step in to resolve the matter, and that this crisis is far more complicated than the U.S. debt downgrade.