The US economy: Coming back?

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With unemployment above 8% and economic growth below 2%, at first sight the US economy does not appear in the best shape. However “The Economist” sees light at the end of the tunnel due to four unexpected developments.
Firstly, the housing crisis and the consumption excesses are matters of the past. Today houses are close to 20% below value but in contrast to Europe, the debt is written off by the banks. Secondly, the export deficit has shrunk from 6% in 2006 to a current 4% due to the weakening of the dollar. What’s more, the structure of exports has changed; besides classics like movies and airplanes the US exports more high value services. The dominance in the internet economy and high-tech has helped to recover the economy faster with increased productivity. Finally, the hike in energy prices led to less demand and the stable higher price level made further exploitation of local sources profitable. Net imports of oil have receded to the level of 1995. This assessment is supported by an article by Ruchir Sharma in “The Atlantic” who also sees the basis of a recovery in more productive manufacturing. He also advises a look at the global competition, with China struggling to reach the 8% growth predicted and Europe in deep crisis.
Some, like Rana Foroohar from “Time Magazine”, see this recovery as a myth. In fact, assessment of the recovery is a question of the indicators used and speculations of how they will impact on further development. Nevertheless, as in previous crises, the US economy displays a stronger dynamic than that of comparable industrialized countries like Germany and Japan. These strong ups and downs are certainly not a pleasure for everyone and it remains to be seen if and when these will reflect on employment.