United States flag United States: Economic outline

Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

The United States is the world's largest economy ahead of China. After a decade of growth, the country’s GDP growth rate turned negative in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, exacerbated by rising inequalities and obsolete infrastructure. However, the economy recovered promptly, with GDP growth rebounding to an estimated 5.7% in 2021 and 2.1% in 2022. In 2023, the U.S. economy sustained robust expansion despite significant monetary policy tightening since early 2022. A tight labour market, along with improving employment and participation rates, contributed to solid real income growth. Despite elevated inflation, consumer demand remained strong. Residential investment declined due to high mortgage rates dampening housing demand. However, government industrial policies and support for re-shoring boosted non-residential construction investment, particularly in green energy and semiconductor sectors. For the year as a whole, the IMF estimated growth at 2.1%. According to the IMF, the rate of economic activity is anticipated to decelerate in 2024 and 2025 (at 1.5% and 1.8%, respectively), gradually adjusting to tight financial conditions and high credit costs.

Concerning public finances, the headline deficit of the general government stood at 6.5% of GDP in 2022 but rose sharply to 8.8% in 2023 due to a decline in revenues, primarily from lower capital gains tax receipts and dividends paid by the Fed, alongside increased interest expenses. While there's a slight anticipated reduction in the deficit for 2024-2025, it's estimated to remain elevated at 7.6% of GDP, under current policies. Persistent high deficits and interest expenses have led to a rise in general government debt, which, after a decrease from its 2020 peak, climbed from 121.3% of GDP in 2022 to 123.3% in 2023 and is expected to further increase to 130.3% by 2025. Consumer price inflation experienced a steady downward trend since 2022-Q2, despite increases in oil prices. Headline inflation was forecasted to moderate further in the subsequent quarters, aided by decreasing housing price inflation, which reflected past trends in house prices. Inflation in labour-intensive service sectors might have been slower to decline if wage growth had remained elevated. However, tight monetary conditions and a softening labour market were poised to facilitate further disinflation over the forecast horizon. After reaching 4.1% in 2023, consumer price inflation was expected to moderate to 2.8% in 2024 and to 2.4%, nearing the Fed target, in 2025 (IMF).

In 2023, the labour market cooled only gradually with employment continuing to increase, albeit at a slowing pace. The unemployment rate was stable at 3.6% but is projected to increase to 3.8% in 2024. Despite the anticipated rebound in activity, unemployment should remain stable in 2025 (at 3.9% - IMF). American citizens enjoy one of the highest GDP (PPP) per capita in the world, estimated at more than USD 80,412 in 2023 by the IMF. Nevertheless, inequalities are still significant, as they tend to be worsened by current public health policies (with rising numbers of people without health insurance). In 2022, the poverty rate was 11.5%, with 37.9 million people in poverty, a level similar to 2021 (U.S. Census – latest data available).

 
Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 25,462.7326,949.6427,966.5529,048.8930,223.88
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 2.12.11.51.82.1
GDP per Capita (USD) 76,34380,41283,06385,87788,935
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -6.5-8.8-7.6-7.6-7.2
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 121.3123.3126.9130.3132.9
Inflation Rate (%) n/a4.12.82.42.2
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labour Force) 3.63.63.83.93.6
Current Account (billions USD) -971.59-795.15-783.17-778.35-772.83
Current Account (in % of GDP) -3.8-3.0-2.8-2.7-2.6

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, 2016

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
American Dollar (USD) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 ZAR 0.070.080.080.070.06

Source: World Bank, 2015

 

Return to top

Any Comment About This Content? Report It to Us.

 

© eexpand, All Rights Reserved.
Latest Update: February 2024