Chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders says U.S. home builders probably won’t rebound completely until 2010 or 2011.

That outlook is so pessimistic that it makes me suspicious. Usually trade groups are unrealistically optimistic.

Perhaps they’ve decided to lay the bad news on heavy now so that anything slightly less miserable will be seen as sunny.

On the other hand, home builders have been so slow to cut production that it actually could take them until 2010 or 2011 to get their act together.