Everyone wants to know where the U.S. economy heading.To figure that out, it helps to see where the economy stands and where it is coming from.
The U.S. Treasury Department recently published this brief presentation that does a surprisingly elegant job of capturing the entire U.S. economy in a series of charts.
There isn’t much sugar coating here. The presentation shows both where the economy is improving and where it is struggling.
After the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, America’s economy is gradually getting stronger. Despite the lingering effects of the crisis, despite severe cutbacks by state and local governments, despite all the headwinds from global markets, the economy has grown for 10 straight quarters.
Private employers have added 3.7 million jobs over the last 23 months. Businesses are ratcheting up investments and boosting productivity. Exports, from agriculture to manufacturing, are growing. Meanwhile, the cost of the government’s emergency response to the financial crisis is dramatically lower than anyone expected, which is welcome news for taxpayers.
However, we still face very significant economic challenges, particularly for households and families. And we face two interrelated fiscal imperatives: cutting deficits to stabilise the nation’s debt by the middle of the decade and making critical, targeted investments to fuel economic growth.
Earlier this month, in testimony before Congress on the President’s Budget, Secretary Geithner provided an update on the nation’s economic and financial health. Today, we offer you a more in-depth look – in charts – at the data behind many of the key points he discussed and look forward to sharing similar briefings in the future.