There is no doubt that the United States is the world’s most important economic driver; with the GDP value of the United States representing almost 25 percent of the world economy.
When the financial crisis began in 2008, the U.S. national debt stood at $9.2 trillion. Based on the White House’s own figures, the national debt will reach $20 trillion by the end of this decade—about 140% of our current Gross Domestic Product.
The U.S. government has implemented more fiscal stimulus and monetary intervention than ever before, yet real GDP has slowed from 2.4% in 2010 to 2% in 2011, and remained flat in 2012.
June 26 was a big day in U.S. soccer. Not just because we faced the Germans in a World Cup match that determined (in a roundabout way) whether or not we made it to the knockout round, but because Jurgen Klinsmann, the head coach of the U.S. men’s national team, gave every single employed American permission to take the day off work! Read More
Judging by all the headlines alone, you’d conclude that the U.S. housing market is in full recovery mode (it isn’t) and that the U.S. economy is heading in the right direction (it’s not). In response to existing-home sales data, USA Today’s headline read “Existing home sales up 4.9%; best gain since ’11;” CNBC’s headline declares “US existing home sales, inventory surge in May;” and The Wall Street Journal opines “Existing Home Sales Rise Strongly in May.” Is the hype justified? Not if you dig below the headlines. First, the (so-called) good news. According to the National Association of Realtors, existing-hom ... Read More
It’s amazing how analysts try to spin numbers that are horrible. For instance, retail sales edged up 0.3% in May, which is not something to get excited about; however, analysts have been spinning this news, saying that the poor May reading is simply a result of the upward revision in the April reading to 0.5%. Now, I’m not sure what your thinking is, but my view is that both numbers stink and they foreshadow an economy in which consumer spending is scarce. My excitement lies 10,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean in China, where the country’s government, under President Xi Jinping, ... Read More
In April, the unemployment rate dropped to 6.3%—its lowest level since 2008. While Wall Street and Capitol Hill might be giving each other high-fives, there is still plenty left to lament. At 12.3%, the U.S. underemployment rate is still eye-wateringly high. (Source: “Alternative measures of labor underutilization,” Bureau of Labor Statistics web site, May 2, 2014.) Sure, it’s down from 13.9% in April 2013, but it’s still at an unacceptable level. And it’s not exactly an encouraging statistic for those entering, already in, or recently graduated from a post-secondary school—or those still struggling to pay off t ... Read More
The United States Census Bureau reported consumer spending in the U.S. economy—adjusted for price fluctuation—increased by 0.2% in February from the previous month. In January, consumer spending increased by 0.1% after seeing a decline in December. (Source: “Personal Income and Outlays, February 2014,” United States Census Bureau web site, March 28, 2014.) This sent a wave of optimism through the markets. We heard consumer spending is going higher; therefore, the U.S. economy will improve. Buy and buy some more, or you will miss out on future gains was what we were told. However, I don ... Read More