The 5 Industries Dragging Down The U.S. Economy

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With a weak property market, it doesn’t come as any surprise that the construction industry hasn’t been driving U.S. GDP growth. But industries as far ranging as retail and waste management were hurt by the recession too.

New data by the U.S. Department of Commerce has pointed out the biggest contributors to economic growth.

We looked at numbers since 2006 to determine the 5 biggest losers and the outlook for each industry.

#5 Retail trade

2.67% decrease in economic output since 2006.

5.2% increase in economic output in 2010.

After declining for two consecutive years industry figures were boosted by consumer spending last year. With inflation on the rise and consumer spending decelerating however, it's unclear if retail trade will be able to drive GDP growth in 2011.

GDP data provided by U.S. Department of Commerce

#4 Transportation and warehousing

9.92% decrease in economic output since 2006.

1.8% increase in economic output in 2010.

The American transportation industry's contribution to GDP fell 13% in 2009 taking a hit during the recession. Though industry growth has inched into the green, the outlook for the industry hinges on fuel costs and consumer spending.

GDP data provided by U.S. Department of Commerce

#3 Accommodation and food services

10.37% decrease in economic output since 2006.

3.2% increase in economic output in 2010.

The recession hurt the accommodation and food service industry, as people had less excess money to spend. The latter has been hit more recently by rising commodity prices, including fuel costs. But industry leader Cisco expects the food services industry to see slow growth till 2015.

GDP data provided by U.S. Department of Commerce

#2 Non-durable manufacturing

11.71% decrease in economic output since 2006.

0.8% increase in economic output in 2010.

Manufacturing of non-durable goods dropped 11.8% in 2008. Despite its marginal growth in 2010, it's not certain whether the recovery will be permanent. BLS data reflected a pickup in March non-durable goods but the industry did cut 13,000 jobs in January.

GDP data provided by U.S. Department of Commerce

#1 Construction

27.4% decrease in economic output since 2006.

3.7% decline in economic output in 2010.

Construction has declined steadily since 2006. Home sales were down 11.4% year-over-year for March, while the amount of unsold homes remains high. The producer price index for the construction industry, however, is at its highest since 2005. All of this suggests that it will be a while before the industry recovers.

GDP data provided by U.S. Department of Commerce

Now that you've had a look at the industries struggling...

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