The American Economy: Bigger Than EverWe’re back.As measured by gross domestic product, in the fourth quarter of 2010, the American economy grew to an annual pace of $13.383 trillion, measured in 2005 dollars. That is 0.14 percent larger than the $13.364 trillion figure recorded in the fourth quarter of 2007 — the peak before the recession.Of course, the country is also larger. On a per capitalbasis, the economy is not quite as large. And of course it is unemployment that now dominates attention, and it is far higher than it was.This is the slowest recovery since the Great Depression. In the severe 1973-5 recession, the economy returned to peak output in the eighth quarter after the recession began. This time it took 12 quarters.Here is a breakdown of the major sectors of the economy,comparing the recent quarter with the final three months of 2007:Personal consumption expenditures, up 1 percent.Private investment, down 18.1 percent.Government spending, up 5.3 percent.That decline in investment is largely, but not completely, caused by the collapse of the construction industry. Businesses are spending 16.6 percent less for industrial equipment. Businesses are also sitting onrecord amounts of cash. Spending may have collapsed because of a lack of available credit, but now it is simply a matter of companies not seeing demand to justify investment.Each of the two Republican responses to the State of the Union message on Tuesday referred to the “failed stimulus” program enacted by the Democrats. That has become a standard phrase, and it seems to me it is misleading, if notcompletely wrong.There is no doubt that the economy would be much worse without the spending, and some case that more spending now, particularly on infrastructure projects, could have a substantial impact. It is also worth noting that the increase in government spending is entirely because of the federal government. State and local spending declined in the fourth quarter, and is 2.3 percent belowwhere it was four years ago.The Fed’s easing makes more money available to businesses if they wish to borrow it. Tax cuts do the same for individuals and companies. The extent to which they seek to spend it, and on what, will determine how fast we recover.Internationally, the G.D.P. numbers indicate that the United States recovered more rapidly than did Japan or any major member of the EuropeanUnion.(Australia never had a recession, and Canada and Switzerland exceeded their old highs in the third quarter.)Britain is the only other major country to have reported fourth-quarter figures. There the G.D.P. declined at an annual rate of 2 percent in the quarter, and it is now 4.4 percent below the peak.Through the third quarter, here are some other changes from the peak G.D.P. in eachcountry:Japan, -3.4 percent
France, -1.9 percent
Germany, -1.8 percent
Italy, -5.4 percent
Netherlands, -2.8 percent
Spain, -4.1 percent
Portugal, -1.5%And then there are the countries that needed international assistance:Greece, -7.2 percent
Iceland, -14.1 percent
Ireland, -12.4 percent | La economía estadounidense: Más grande que nunca
Estamos de vuelta.
Medido por el producto interno bruto,en el cuarto trimestre de 2010, la economía estadounidense creció a un ritmo anual de 13383 mil millones dólares, medido en dólares de 2005. Eso es de 0,14 por ciento más grande que la cifra 13364000000000 dólares registrados en el cuarto trimestre de 2007 - el pico antes de la recesión.
Por supuesto, el país también es mayor. Sobre una base per capital, la economía no es tan grande. Y, porsupuesto, es el desempleo, que ahora domina la atención, y es mucho mayor de lo que era.
Este es el más lento de recuperación desde la Gran Depresión. En la severa recesión de 1973-5, la economía volvió a pico de salida en el octavo trimestre después de que comenzó la recesión. Esta vez se tomó 12 trimestres.
Aquí se presenta un desglose de los principales sectores de la economía,...