Everyone seems confounded as to whether the U.S. economy is improving, with experts’ opposing views, cherry-picked data points and political gamesmanship causing the political winds to swirl and making it tough to chart our course. Arguments over the domestic economy’s health have taken center stage in the ongoing Federal Reserve rate-hike watch, but the fundamental issues at hand have far broader implications. Not only is the U.S. one apparent bright spot in a turbulent global economic landscape, but most Americans are not prepared to ride out another significant recession.
It’s therefore imperative that we take a closer look at the health of the U.S. economy, considering opinions on both sides of the issue in order to ultimately reach a reasoned, unbiased outlook. In pursuit of this objective, we posed a simple question – “is the U.S. economy healthy?” – to a panel of leading academics. You can find their responses – five yeses and three noes – below.
Why The Economy Is Healthy
- "The U.S. economy looks and is relatively healthy, with low unemployment, low inflation and no immediate prospect of a sudden plunge into a sharp recession."
- "The U.S. economy is basically healthy. Its growth rate has declined from 3.5% in the period 1950-2000, to 2% in the period 2000-present. All other industrialized nations have experienced similar declines in their own growth rates."
- "The U.S. has one of the best growth rates among the developed countries."
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Why The Economy Is NOT Healthy
- "The U.S. economy is not dead, but it's not about to run a triathlon any time soon."
- "The U.S. economy remains in a long-term structural decline driven by bad trade deals, the offshoring of American factories and chronic trade deficits."
- "We are still experiencing sluggish growth. Record low interest rates have helped to bring back both the housing market and the stock market, yet inflation is still below the Fed’s target rate of 2% and wage growth is slow despite an improved employment picture."
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