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【美国经济】新年快乐 2015年01月13日 12:23:54

America’s economy



A happy new year



Growth is likely to be robust in 2015—and will start to benefit ordinary families



Jan 3rd 2015 | WASHINGTON, DC | From the print edition of The Economist




EIGHT out of ten voters told exit pollsters in November that they were worried about the economy. That is one reason why the new Congress, which starts sitting next week, is dominated by Republicans. Yet there is mounting evidence that the benefits of the economic recovery—long concentrated among the rich—are spreading to ordinary Americans.




On December 23rd GDP growth for the third quarter was revised up to 5%—its fastest pace since 2003—having grown by a nearly-as-impressive 4.6% in the second quarter (see chart). To be sure, America is making up for ground lost in the first quarter, when GDP actually shrank because the weather was awful and companies cut inventories. For the past 12 months GDP is up 2.7%: respectable but not amazing. Forecasters surveyed by The Economist think America will grow 3% next year.




Economists have projected similar growth rates since the recovery began, only to be disappointed. Growth has averaged just 2.3% since the recovery began in July 2009. But this time they have hard evidence on their side. Some 321,000 jobs were created in November, compared with a monthly average of 194,000 during 2013. Despite this, inflation has fallen. The Federal Reserve can thus continue to keep monetary policy unusually loose, and asset prices are soaring. The Dow Jones Industrial Average passed 18,000 for the first time shortly before Christmas.




Consumer sentiment has grown jollier in recent months—as jolly as it has been since before the recession, according to the University of Michigan. For several reasons, the good mood is likely to last into 2015. One is the composition of recent growth: it is the result of solid household spending, the most important component of demand. It grew at a 3.2% annual rate in the third quarter, and may grow 4% or more in the current quarter, reckons Morgan Stanley, a bank.




Two powerful tailwinds are helping. The first is the big drop in the price of oil, from $110 per barrel in June to below $60. Cheaper petrol holds down inflation and leaves American consumers with more money to spend on other things. (Although America produces more oil and imports less of it than five years ago, it remains a net importer.) Saudi Arabia seems willing to tolerate even lower prices to protect its market share, so the boost may last.





The other, even stronger, tailwind is growing incomes. Job growth is accelerating, and there are signs, albeit faint, of an uptick in wages. America’s underlying potential growth rate has slipped in recent years, from 3% or more a decade ago to around 2%, thanks to a slower-growing workforce and lacklustre productivity. So any growth rate above 2% helps to use up spare capacity. Labour market data confirm this: non-farm employment grew faster in 2014 than in any year since the 1990s, and unemployment has fallen to 5.8%. On current trends, it could drop close to 5% within a year, less than many estimates of the natural rate of unemployment (at which a labour shortage puts upward pressure on wages and prices).




The median household’s real income is up 1.2% for the first 11 months of the year, according to Sentier Research, a private firm, a marked acceleration from the previous two years. That barely dents the 8% drop in median incomes between 2008 and 2011, but it does suggest that the expansion is finally reaching ordinary households.


据一家私营企业Sentier Research称,美国2014年前11个月的家庭实际收入中值上升了1.2%,较前两年显著上升。这无法抵消2008年至2011年间收入中值下降的8%,但这确实表明经济扩张最终触及到了普通家庭身上。


The joy of feeling shale-shocked

页岩油受惊 美国仍然高兴


Thanks to cheaper oil, the Federal Reserve now thinks inflation will end next year around 1.3%, according to projections released on December 17th, and will not return to 2%, its target, before 2


阅读(2312)| 评论(2)

  1. 谭贝贝 2015年01月13日 17:15:12 举报
    ▼上海交大2015年CFA备考策略分享▼ 2014-1-17 14:00-16:00传递爱心 编辑:“地区+姓名”发送至“13162963778”预约
  2. 陈小予 2015年01月13日 17:20:19 举报
    回复谭贝贝: 谢谢!

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