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Economy of the United States

Economy of the United States
Economy of the United States Export goods industrial supplies, 29.8%; production machinery, 29.5%; nonauto consumer goods, 12.4%; motor vehicles and parts, 9.3%; food, feed and beverages, 8.3%; aircraft and parts, 6.6%; other, 4.1%. (2008) Canada, 21.4%; Mexico, 11.7%; China, 5.6%; Japan, 5.4%; Germany, 4.3%; United Kingdom, 4.1%.[6] $2.19 trillion c.i.f. (2008) non-auto consumer goods 23.0%; fuels, 22.1%; production machinery and equipment, 19.9%; non-fuel industrial supplies, 14.8%; motor vehicles and parts, 11.1%; food, feed and beverages, 4.2%; aircraft and parts, 1.7%; other 3.2%. (2008) China, 16.9%; Canada, 15.7%; Mexico, 10.6%; Japan, 7.4%; Germany, 7.4%.[6] $13.77 trillion (30 June 2008)

Main export partners Imports Import goods

Currency Fiscal year Trade organizations Statistics GDP GDP growth GDP per capita GDP by sector Inflation (CPI) Population below poverty line Labor force Labor force by occupation

United States Dollar (USD) 1 October - 30 September NAFTA, WTO, OECD, G-20 and others Main import partners Gross External Debt Public finances Public Debt

nominal: $14,264 billion; real: $11,652 billion (2008)[1] -6.1% (Q1 2009)[1] $46,800 (2008) (10th)

agriculture (0.9%), industry (20.6%), Revenues services (78.5%) 0.2% (April 2008-09)[2] 12.5% (2008)[3] Expenses Economic aid

$12.25 trillion (February 2009)[7] 77% of GDP $2.523 trillion (2008)[8] $3.150 trillion (2008)[8][9] ODA $19 billion, 0.2% of GDP (2004)[10]

million (includes unemployed) (2008)[4]

Main data source: CIA World Fact Book All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars

managerial and professional The economy of the United States is the (35.5%), technical, sales and largest national economy in the world.[11] Its administrative support (24.8%), gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated services (16.5%), manufacturing, [12] The U.S. ecomining, transportation, and craftsas $14.2 trillion in 2008. nomy maintains a high level of output per (24%), farming, forestry, and fishing (0.6%) (excludes unemployed) (2007) person (GDP per capita, $46,800 in 2008,

Unemployment Main industries

External Exports

ranked at around number ten in the world). The U.S. economy has maintained a stable petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, overall GDP growth rate, a low unemployaerospace, telecommunications, ment rate, and high levels of research and chemicals, culture, electronics, food capital investment funded by both national processing, consumer goods, and, because of decreasing saving rates, inlumber, mining, defense creasingly by foreign investors. In 2008, seventy-two percent of the economic activity $1.377 trillion f.o.b. (2008) in the U.S. came from consumers.[13]
9% (April 2009)[5]


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Major economic concerns in the U.S. include external debt, entitlement liabilities for retiring baby boomers who have already begun withdrawing from their Social Security accounts, corporate debt, mortgage debt, a low savings rate, falling house prices, and a large current account deficit. As of September 2008, the gross U.S. external debt was over $13.6 trillion,[14] the most external debt of any country in the world.[15] The 2008 estimate of the United States public debt was 73% of GDP.[16] As of March 2009, the total U.S. federal debt exceeded $10.9 trillion,[7] about $37,850 per capita.

Economy of the United States
inflation. As a result, government leaders came to concentrate more on controlling inflation than on combating recession by limiting spending. Ideas about the best tools for stabilizing the economy changed substantially between the 1960s and the 1990s. In the 1960s, government had great faith in fiscal policy—manipulation of government revenues to influence the economy. Since spending and taxes are controlled by the president and the U.S. Congress, these elected officials played a leading role in directing the economy. A period of high inflation, high unemployment, and huge government deficits weakened confidence in fiscal policy as a tool for regulating the overall pace of economic activity. Instead, monetary policy assumed growing prominence. Since the stagflation of the 1970s, the U.S. economy has been characterized by somewhat slower growth. The worst recession in recent decades, in terms of lost output, occurred in the 1973-75 period of oil shocks, when GDP fell by 3.1 percent, followed by the 1981-82 recession, when GDP dropped by 2.9 percent.[17] Since the 1970s the US has sustained trade deficits with other nations. Output fell by 1.3 percent in the 1990-91 downturn, and a tiny 0.3 percent in the 2001 recession. The 2001 downturn lasted just eight months.[17] In recent years, the primary economic concerns have centered on: high household debt ($14 trillion) including $2.5 trillion in consumer debt,[18] high national debt ($9 trillion), high corporate debt ($9 trillion), high mortgage debt (over $10 trillion as of 2005 year-end), high unfunded Medicare liability ($30 trillion), high unfunded Social Security liability ($12 trillion), high external debt (amount owed to foreign lenders), high trade deficits, and a serious deterioration in the United States net international investment position (NIIP) (-24% of GDP).[19] In 2006, the U.S economy had its lowest saving rate since 1933.[20] These issues have raised concerns among economists and national politicians.[21] The U.S. economy maintains a relatively high GDP per capita, with the caveat that it may be elevated by borrowing, a low to moderate GDP growth rate, and a low unemployment rate, making it attractive to immigrants worldwide.

The economic history of the United States has its roots in European settlements in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. The American colonies progressed from marginally successful colonial economies to a small, independent farming economy, which in 1776 became the United States of America. In 230 years the United States grew to a huge, integrated, industrialized economy that makes up over a quarter of the world economy. The main causes were a large unified market, a supportive political-legal system, vast areas of highly productive farmlands, vast natural resources (especially timber, coal and oil), and an entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to investing in material and human capital. In addition, the U.S. was able to exploit these resources due to a unique set of institutions designed to encourage exploration and extraction. As a result, the U.S.’s GDP per capita converged on that of the U.K., as well as other nations that it previously trailed economically. The economy has maintained high wages, attracting immigrants by the millions from all over the world.

After the Great Depression
For many years following the Great Depression of the 1930s, when the danger of recession appeared most serious, government sought to strengthen the economy by spending heavily itself or cutting taxes so that consumers would spend more, and by fostering rapid growth in the money supply, which also encouraged more spending. In the 1970s, economic woes brought on by the costs of the Vietnam conflict, major price increases, particularly for energy, created a strong fear of


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The United States entered 2008 during a housing market correction, a subprime mortgage crisis and a declining dollar value.[22] On December 1, 2008, the NBER declared that the United States entered a recession in December 2007, citing employment and production figures as well as the third quarter decline in GDP.[23]

Economy of the United States
waterways have helped shape the country’s economic growth over the years and helped bind America’s 50 individual states together in a single economic unit. [26] The number of unemployed workers and, more importantly, their productivity help determine the health of the U.S. economy. Throughout its history, the United States has experienced steady growth in the labor force, a phenomenon both cause and effect of almost constant economic expansion. Until shortly after World War I, most workers were immigrants from Europe, their immediate descendants, or African Americans who were mostly slaves taken from Africa, or slave descendants. Beginning in the early 20th century, many Latin Americans immigrated; followed by large numbers of Asians following removal of nation-origin based immigration quotas. The promise of high wages brings many highly skilled workers from around the world to the United States. Labor mobility has also been important to the capacity of the American economy to adapt to changing conditions. When immigrants flooded labor markets on the East Coast, many workers moved inland, often to farmland waiting to be tilled. Similarly, economic opportunities in industrial, northern cities attracted black Americans from southern farms in the first half of the 20th century. In the United States, the corporation has emerged as an association of owners, known as stockholders, who form a business enterprise governed by a complex set of rules and customs. Brought on by the process of mass production, corporations, such as General Electric, have been instrumental in shaping the United States. Through the stock market, American banks and investors have grown their economy by investing and withdrawing capital from profitable corporations. Today in the era of globalization American investors and corporations have influence all over the world. The American government has also been instrumental in investing in the economy, in areas such as providing cheap electricity (such as from the Hoover Dam), and military contracts in times of war. While consumers and producers make most decisions that mold the economy, government has a powerful effect on the U.S. economy in at least four areas. Strong government regulation in the U.S. economy started in the early 1900s with the rise of the Progressive Movement; prior to this the


United States wealth compared to the rest of the world in the year 2000

Year-on-year change in United States net worth 1946–2007 A central feature of the U.S. economy is the economic freedom afforded to the private sector by allowing the private sector to make the majority of economic decisions in determining the direction and scale of what the U.S. economy produces.[24] This is enhanced by relatively low levels of regulation and government involvement,[25] as well as a court system that generally protects property rights and enforces contracts. The United States is rich in mineral resources and fertile farm soil, and it is fortunate to have a moderate climate. It also has extensive coastlines on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as on the Gulf of Mexico. Rivers flow from far within the continent, and the Great Lakes—five large, inland lakes along the U.S. border with Canada—provide additional shipping access. These extensive


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government promoted economic growth through protective tariffs and subsidies to industry, built infrastructure, and established banking policies, including the gold standard, to encourage savings and investment in productive enterprises..

Economy of the United States
regulated banking environments in the world; however, many of the regulations are not safety and soundness related, but are instead focused on privacy, disclosure, fraud prevention, anti-money laundering, anti-terrorism, anti-usury lending, and promoting lending to lower-income segments. Monetary policy

Government Role
Regulation and control
The U.S. federal government regulates private enterprise in numerous ways. Regulation falls into two general categories.Although small business makes up for 90% of all business, the concentration of economic power is in the hands of “Big Business”. For instance the coalition of “Big Oil” or “The Energy Lobby”, has been accused of attempting control gas prices, to profit on the tax payers, during a time of terrible weather events and political unrest and yet during 2004 and 2007 their profits reached $494.8 billion [citation needed].

United States historical inflation rate 1666–2004 The federal government attempts to use both monetary policy (control of the money supply through mechanisms such as changes in interest rates) and fiscal policy (taxes and spending) to maintain low inflation, high economic growth, and low unemployment. A relatively independent central bank, known as the Federal Reserve, was formed in 1913 to provide a stable currency and monetary policy. The U.S. dollar has been regarded as one of the most stable currencies in the world and many nations back their own currency with U.S. dollar reserves. During the last few years, the U.S. dollar has gradually depreciated in value and its reserve currency status is no longer as high as previously. The dollar used gold standard and/or silver standard from 1785 until 1975, when it became a fiat currency.
Money supply

Economic regulation
Some efforts seek, either directly or indirectly, to control prices. Traditionally, the government has sought to prevent monopolies such as electric utilities from raising prices beyond the level that would ensure them extremely large profits. At times, the government has extended economic control to other kinds of industries as well. In the years following the Great Depression, it devised a complex system to stabilize prices for agricultural goods, which tend to fluctuate wildly in response to rapidly changing supply and demand. A number of other industries—trucking and, later, airlines—successfully sought regulation themselves to limit what they considered as harmful price cutting, a process called regulatory capture. Another form of economic regulation, antitrust law, seeks to strengthen market forces so that direct regulation is unnecessary. The government—and, sometimes, private parties—have used antitrust law to prohibit practices or mergers that would unduly limit competition. Bank regulation in the United States is highly fragmented compared to other G10 countries where most countries have only one bank regulator. In the U.S., banking is regulated at both the federal and state level. The U.S also has one of the most highly

The most common measures are named M0 (narrowest), M1, M2, and M3. In the United States they are defined by the Federal Reserve as follows: • : The total of all physical currency, plus accounts at the central bank that can be exchanged for physical currency. • : M0 - those portions of M0 held reserves or vault cash + the amount in demand accounts ("checking" or "current" accounts). • : M1 + most savings accounts, money market accounts, and small denomination time deposits (certificates of deposit of under $100,000).


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Economy of the United States
developments led to a succession of laws easing regulation. While leaders of America’s two most influential political parties generally favored economic deregulation during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, there was less agreement concerning regulations designed to achieve social goals. Social regulation had assumed growing importance in the years following the Depression and World War II, and again in the 1960s and 1970s. During the 1980s, the government relaxed labor, consumer and environmental rules based on the idea that such regulation interfered with free enterprise, increased the costs of doing business, and thus contributed to inflation. The response to such changes is mixed; many Americans continued to voice concerns about specific events or trends, prompting the government to issue new regulations in some areas, including environmental protection. Where legislative channels have been unresponsive, some citizens have turned to the courts to address social issues more quickly. For instance, in the 1990s, individuals, and eventually the government itself, sued tobacco companies over the health risks of cigarette smoking. The 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement provided states with long-term payments to cover medical costs to treat smoking-related illnesses.

Components of US money supply (currency, M1, M2, and M3) since 1959 • : M2 + all other CDs, deposits of eurodollars and repurchase agreements. The Federal Reserve ceased publishing M3 statistics in March 2006, explaining that data does not provide useful information and as a result "the costs outweigh the benefits". They still release some of the separate statistics that were included in the M3.[27] The other three money supply measures continue to be provided in detail.

Social regulations
Since the 1970s, government has also exercised control over private companies to achieve social goals, such as improving the public’s health and safety or maintaining a healthy environment. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides and enforces standards for workplace safety, and in the case of the United States Environmental Protection Agency provides standards and regulations to maintain air, water, and land resources. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates what drugs may reach the market, and also provides standards of disclosure for food products. American attitudes about regulation changed minimally during the final three decades of the 20th century. Beginning in the 1970s, policy makers grew increasingly satisfied that economic regulation protected efficient companies at the expense of consumers in industries such as airlines and trucking. At the same time, technological changes spawned new competitors in some industries, such as telecommunications, that once were considered natural monopolies. Both

Direct services
Each level of government provides many direct services. The federal government, for example, is responsible for national defense, backs research that often leads to the development of new products, conducts space exploration, and runs numerous programs designed to help workers develop workplace skills and find jobs (including higher education). Government spending has a significant effect on local and regional economies—and even on the overall pace of economic activity. State governments, meanwhile, are responsible for the construction and maintenance of most highways. State, county, or city governments play the leading role in financing and operating public schools. Local governments are primarily responsible for police and fire protection. Overall, federal, state, and local spending accounted for almost 28% of gross domestic product in 1998.[28]


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Economy of the United States

Direct assistance
Government also provides many kinds of help to businesses and individuals. It offers low-interest loans and technical assistance to small businesses, and it provides loans to help students attend college. Government-sponsored enterprises buy home mortgages from lenders and turn them into securities that can be bought and sold by investors, thereby encouraging home lending. Government also actively promotes exports and seeks to prevent foreign countries from maintaining trade barriers that restrict imports. Social Security, which is financed by a tax on employers and employees, accounts for the largest portion of Americans’ retirement income. The Medicare program pays for many of the medical costs of the elderly. The Medicaid program finances medical care for low-income families. In many states, government maintains institutions for the mentally ill or people with severe disabilities. The federal government provides food stamps to help poor families obtain food, and the federal and state governments jointly provide welfare grants to support low-income parents with children. Many of these programs, including Social Security, trace their roots to the New Deal programs of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who served as the U.S. president from 1933 to 1945. Many other assistance programs for individuals and families, including Medicare and Medicaid, were begun in the 1960s during President Lyndon Johnson’s (1963–1969) War on Poverty. Although some of these programs encountered financial difficulties in the 1990s and various reforms were proposed, they continued to have strong support from both of the United States’ major political parties. Critics argued, however, that providing welfare to unemployed but healthy individuals actually created dependency rather than solving problems. Welfare reform legislation (the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act) passed in 1996 under President Bill Clinton (1993–2001) and a Republican Congress requires people to work, job search, enter training, or receive education as a condition of receiving benefits and imposes federal limits on how long individuals may receive payments (states may adopt stronger limits).

Sales per sector compared to employees per sector in the United States economy in the year 2002

National budget
National debt
As of January 20, 2009, the total U.S. federal debt was $10.627 trillion (an increase of 85.5 percent over the previous eight years). [29] The borrowing cap debt ceiling as of 2005 stood at $8.18 trillion.[30] In March 2006, Congress raised that ceiling an additional $0.79 trillion to $8.97 trillion, which is approximately 68% of GDP.[31] Congress has used this method to deal with an encroaching debt ceiling in previous years, as the federal borrowing limit was raised in 2002 and 2003.[32] As of October 4, 2008, the "The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008" raised the current debt ceiling to US$ 11.3 trillion.[33] While the U.S. national debt is the world’s largest in absolute size, another measure is its size relative to the nation’s GDP. As of January 20, 2009, the debt was 73 percent of GDP, a level not seen in the U.S. since 1955 when the country was recovering from World War II. [34] This debt is still less than the debt of other industrialized nations such as Japan and roughly equivalent to those of several western European nations.[35]

Sectors of the U.S. Economy in 2002 firms with payroll - All Sector Totals[36] Industrial production growth rate: -11.2% (2009 est.)[37] Electricity: • production: 4.157 trillion kWh (2007)[38] • consumption: 3.924 trillion kWh (2007) • exports: 22.9 billion kWh (2004) • imports: 34.21 billion kWh (2004)


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Sector Establishments Sales, receipts, or shipments ($1,000) 24,087 17,103 710,307 350,828 435,521 1,114,637 199,618 137,678 440,268 771,305 49,308

Economy of the United States
Annual payroll ($1,000) 21,173,895 42,417,830 254,292,144 576,170,541 259,653,080 302,113,581 115,988,733 194,670,163 377,790,172 60,222,584 376,090,052 178,996,060 206,439,329 Paid employees

Mining Utilities Construction Manufacturing Wholesale trade Retail trade Transportation & warehousing Information Finance & insurance Professional, scientific, & technical services Management of companies & enterprises

182,911,093 398,907,044 1,196,555,587 3,916,136,712 4,634,755,112 3,056,421,997 382,152,040 891,845,956 2,803,854,868 335,587,706 886,801,038 107,064,264 432,577,580

477,840 663,044 7,193,069 14,699,536 5,878,405 14,647,675 3,650,859 3,736,061 6,578,817 1,948,657 7,243,505 2,605,292 8,741,854

Real estate & rental & leasing 322,815

Administrative & support & 350,583 waste management & remediation service Educational services Health care & social assistance Arts, entertainment, & recreation Accommodation & food services Other services (except public administration) Totals 49,319 704,526 110,313 565,590 537,576 6,891,382

30,690,707 1,207,299,734 141,904,109 449,498,718 307,049,461

10,164,378 495,845,829 45,169,117 127,554,483 82,954,939

430,164 15,052,255 1,848,674 10,120,951 3,475,310

21,362,013,726 3,727,706,910 108,991,968 • proved reserves: 21.32 billion barrel (1 January 2008) Natural gas:[41] • production: 545.9 billion cu m (2007 est.) • consumption: 653 billion cu m (2007 est.) • exports: 23.28 billion cu m (2007 est.) • imports: 130.5 billion cu m (2007 est.) • proved reserves: 6.731 trillion cu m (31 December 2007 est.) Agriculture - products: wheat, corn, other grains, fruits, vegetables, cotton; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; forest products; fish Exports - commodities: capital goods, automobiles, industrial supplies and raw materials, consumer goods, agricultural products

Electricity - production by source:[39] • fossil fuel: 69% • hydro: 6.4% • nuclear: 19.4% • other: 3.3% (2008) Oil:[40] • production: 5.064 million barrel/day (2009 est.) • consumption: 20.68 million barrel/day (2009 est.) • exports: 1.433 million barrel/day (2009 est.) • imports: 10.03 million barrel/day (2009 est.) • net imports: 8.6 million barrel/day


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Economy of the United States

Total US derivatives and total US wealth 1995–2007 compared to total world wealth in the year 2000

External debt: Liabilities to foreigners

Account balance as of 2006[42] Sectors of the US economy ranked by number of sales, receipts, or shipments in the year 2002. Includes both employers and nonemployers Imports - commodities: crude oil and refined petroleum products, machinery, automobiles, consumer goods, industrial raw materials, food and beverages Gross U.S. liabilities to foreigners are $16.3 trillion as of the end of 2006 (over 100% of GDP). The U.S. Net International Investment Position (NIIP)[43] deteriorated to a negative $2.5 trillion at the end of 2006,[44] or about minus 19% of GDP. This figure rises as long as the US maintains an imbalance in trade, when the value of imports substantially outweighs the value of exports. This external debt does not result mostly from loans to Americans or the American government, nor is it consumer debt owed to non-US creditors. It is an accounting entry that largely represents US domestic assets purchased with trade dollars and owned overseas, largely by US trading partners.[45] For countries like the United States, a large net external debt is created when the value of foreign assets (debt and equity) held by domestic residents is less than the value of domestic assets held by foreigners. In simple terms, as foreigners buy property in the US, this adds to the external debt. When this occurs in greater amounts than Americans buying property overseas, nations like the United States are said to be debtor nations, but this is not conventional debt like a loan obtained from a bank.[43] If the external debt represents foreign ownership of domestic assets, the result is

Further information: United States Department of Agriculture Agriculture is a major industry in the United States and the country is a net exporter of food.

USA is the leading manufacturer in the world with a 2007 industrial output of US$2,696,880 millions. Main industries are petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, aerospace, telecommunications, chemicals, electronics, food processing, consumer goods, lumber, mining. $))))


International trade

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that rental income, stock dividends, capital gains and other investment income is received by foreign investors, rather than by U.S. residents. On the other hand, when American debt is held by overseas investors, they receive interest and principal repayments. As the trade imbalance puts extra dollars in hands outside of the U.S., these dollars may be used to invest in new assets (foreign direct investment, such as new plants) or be used to buy existing American assets such as stocks, real estate and bonds. With a mounting trade deficit, the income from these assets increasingly transfers overseas. Of major concern is the magnitude of the NIIP (or net external debt), which is larger than those of most national economies. Fueled by the sizable trade deficit, the external debt is so large that many wonder if the trade situation can be sustained in the long term. A complicating factor is that trading partners such as China, depend for much of their economy on exports, especially to America. There are many controversies about the current trade and external debt situation, and it is arguable whether anyone understands how these dynamics will play out in a historically unprecedented floating exchange rate system. While various aspects of the U.S. economic profile have precedents in the situations of other countries (notably government debt as a percentage of GDP), the sheer size of the U.S., and the integral role of the US economy in the overall global economic environment, create considerable uncertainty about the future. According to economists such as Larry Summers and Paul Krugman, the enormous inflow of capital from China is one of the causes of the global financial crisis of 2008–2009. China had been buying huge quantities of dollar assets to keep its currency value low and its export economy humming, which caused American interest rates and saving rates to remain artificially low. These low interest rates, in turn, contributed to the United States housing bubble because when mortgages are cheap, house prices are inflated as people can afford to borrow more.[46][47]

Economy of the United States

The United States Current Bilateral/Multilateral FTA’s Proposed Bilateral/Multilateral FTA’s International Trade Commission, United States free trade agreements, North American Free Trade Agreement, Organization of American States, and Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America The U.S. is a member of several international trade organizations. The purpose of joining these organizations is to come to agreement with other nations on trade issues, although there is some disagreement among U.S. citizens as to whether or not the U.S. government should be making these trade agreements in the first place.

Imports and exports

Proportion of US exports to imports 1960–2004

U.S. imports of goods and services 1960–2004 Imports and exports by country

U.S. exports of goods and services 1960–2004

US exports in 2006 US imports of US exports of goods by country goods by country in 2004 (does not in 2004 (does not include imports include exports of services) of services) The United States is the most significant nation in the world when it comes to international trade. For decades, it has led the world

Trade agreements
Further information: United States Court of International Trade, Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement, United States


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in imports while simultaneously remaining as one of the top three exporters of the world. As the major epicenter of world trade, the United States enjoys leverage that many other nations do not. For one, since it is the world’s leading consumer, it is the number one customer of companies all around the world. Many businesses compete for a share of the United States market. In addition, the United States occasionally uses its economic leverage to impose economic sanctions in different regions of the world. USA is the top export market for almost 60 trading nations worldwide. Since it is the world’s leading importer, there are many U.S. dollars in circulation all around the planet. The stable U.S. economy and fairly sound monetary policy has led to faith in the U.S. dollar as the world’s most stable currency. In order to fund the national debt (also known as public debt), the United States relies on selling U.S. treasury bonds to people both inside and outside the country, and in recent times the latter have become increasingly important. Much of the money generated for the treasury bonds came from U.S. dollars which were used to purchase imports in the United States.

Economy of the United States
that (a) the United States has eliminated poverty over the last century;[50] or (b) it has such a severe poverty crisis that it ought to devote significantly more resources to the problem. The debate includes how poverty should be defined. Measures of poverty can be either absolute or relative. Absolute poverty is defined in real dollar values, whereas relative poverty is a comparison of the highest to the lowest standard of living at a particular time period.

Personal income

US trade by nation

Distribution of wealth

U.S. mean family net worth by percentile of net worth (1989–2004)

There is significant disagreement about poverty in the United States, particularly over how poverty ought to be defined. Using radically different definitions, two major groups of advocates have claimed variously

This graphic shows the distribution of gross annual household income. The floors above the top black line represent those households with incomes of or exceeding $100,000. The floors below the bottom black line represent those households below the poverty threshold. In order to live on the top floor of the American income strata, a household’s annual gross income must exceed $200,000.

Distribution of income


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Economy of the United States

US trade of goods by nation in 2004 (services not included) Exports[48] Nation Imports[49] Millions Percentage Cumulative Nation of Percentage dollars 189,101 23.12% 110,775 13.54% 54,400 35,960 34,721 31,381 26,333 6.65% 4.40% 4.24% 3.84% 3.22% 2.97% 2.66% 2.60% 2.40% 2.06% 1.93% 1.74% 1.69% 1.55% 1.33% 1.31% 1.13% 1.12% 1.00% 0.86% 0.81% 0.78% 0.64% 0.58% 0.55% 0.53% 0.50% 0.44% 23.12% 36.66% 43.31% 47.71% 51.95% 55.79% 59.01% 61.98% 64.64% 67.23% 69.63% 71.69% 73.63% 75.37% 77.07% 86.16% 78.40% 79.71% 80.84% 81.96% 82.96% 83.83% 84.64% 85.42% 86.80% 87.39% 87.94% 88.47% 88.97% 89.41% Canada China Mexico Japan Germany United Kingdom South Korea Taiwan, ROC France Malaysia Italy Ireland Venezuela Brazil Saudi Arabia Thailand Nigeria India Singapore Israel Sweden Belgium Russia Millions Percentage Cumulative of dollars Percentage 255,928 196,699 155,843 129,595 77,236 46,402 46,163 34,617 31,814 28,185 28,089 27,442 24,962 21,157 20,924 17,577 16,246 15,562 15,306 14,527 12,687 12,448 11,847 17.41% 13.38% 10.60% 8.82% 5.26% 3.16% 3.14% 2.36% 2.16% 1.92% 1.91% 1.87% 1.70% 1.44% 1.42% 1.20% 1.11% 1.06% 1.04% 0.99% 0.86% 0.86% 0.85% 0.81% 0.79% 0.74% 0.63% 0.62% 0.58% 0.51% 17.41% 30.80% 41.40% 50.22% 55.48% 58.63% 61.77% 64.13% 66.29% 68.21% 70.12% 71.99% 73.69% 75.13% 76.55% 77.75% 78.85% 79.91% 80.95% 81.94% 82.81% 83.66% 84.51% 85.32% 86.11% 86.84% 87.48% 88.10% 88.68% 89.19%

Canada Mexico Japan United Kingdom China Germany South Korea

Netherlands 24,286 Taiwan France Singapore Belgium Hong Kong Australia Brazil India Malaysia Italy Israel Ireland Philippines Spain Thailand Saudi Arabia Venezuela Colombia Dominican Republic 21,731 21,240 19,601 16,877 15,809 14,271 13,863 12,095 10,897 10,711 9,198 8,166 7,072 6,641 6,363 5,245 4,782 4,504 4,343

Switzerland 9,268

Netherlands 12,605

Switzerland 11,643 Indonesia Hong Kong Philippines Iraq Australia 10,811 9,314 9,144 8,514 7,544

United Arab 4,064 Emirates Chile 3,625


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Argentina Turkey Costa Rica Sweden South Africa Egypt Others Total Exports: 3,386 3,361 3,304 3,265 3,172 3,105 67,023 817,939 0.41% 0.41% 0.40% 0.40% 0.39% 0.38% 8.19% 89.82% 90.24% 90.64% 91.04% 91.43% 91.81% 100.00% Others Total Imports: Spain Algeria Colombia

Economy of the United States
7,476 7,409 7,290 0.51% 0.50% 0.50% 89.70% 90.21% 90.70%

136,661 1,469,667



Median income levels Households Persons, age 25 or older with earnings Females Both sexes $32,140 Household income by race Asian

All Dual Per Males households earner household households member $46,326 Measure $67,348 $23,535

White, Hispani nonhispanic $48,977 $34,241

$39,403 $26,507


Median personal income by educational attainment Some High High School school graduate $20,321 $26,505

Some Associate’s Bachelor’s Bachelor’s Master’s Professi college degree degree or degree degree degree higher $31,054 $35,009 $49,303 $43,143 $52,390 $82,473

Persons, age 25+ w/ earnings Male, age 25+ w/ earnings



$39,150 $42,382





Female, age $15,073 25+ w/ earnings Persons, age 25+, employed full-time Household Bottom 10% $0 to $10,500 $25,039


$25,185 $29,510






$37,135 $40,588





$22,718 Bottom 20% $0 to $18,500

$36,835 Bottom 25% $0 to $22,500

$45,854 $51,970 Middle Middle 33% 20% $30,000 $35,000 to to $55,000 $62,500

$73,446 Top 25% $77,500 and up

$68,728 Top 20% $92,000 and up

$78,541 Top 5%


Household income distribution

Top 1.5%

$167,000 $250,000 and up and up

Source: US Census Bureau, 2006; income statistics for the year 2005

Income inequality
The United Nations Development Programme Report 2006 on income equality ranks the

United States as tied for 73rd out of 126 countries, as measured by the Gini coefficient. (See List of countries by income equality.) The Gini coefficient for the U.S. was 45


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Country Median household income national currency units

Economy of the United States
Year PPP rate (OECD) 2006 1.762142 Median household income (PPP) $55,901 $54,000 2006 1.00 2005 1.21 2007 1.54 2006 1.8229 2004 0.632 2006 1.41 2006 2.90 2005 1.02 2005 0.649 $48,000 $44,000 $41,000 $39,306 $39,000 $38,000 $37,000 $35,000 $34,000

Switzerland[51] (gross) 101,904 CHF, $81,274 California, US[52] United States Canada
[54] [53] US State

48,000 USD 53,634 CAD 62,556 NZD

New Zealand

Switzerland[51] (after taxes and health insurance) 71,652 CHF, $57,146 United Kingdom [55] Australia[56] Israel[57] Ireland Scotland, United Kingdom[58] West Virginia, US[59] Singapore[61] 24,700 GBP 53,404 AUD 107,820 ILS 35,410 EUR 21,892 GBP

US state

$33,000 2005 5.96 2005 1.55 $31,000 $30,000

Hong Kong[60] 186,000 HKD 45,960 SGD

Before-tax U.S. family income distribution 1989–2004 (mean) in 2007, according to the CIA. The richest 10% make 16 times as much as the poorest 10%, and the richest 20% make 8 times as much as the poorest 20%. (See List of countries by income equality.)

Unemployment rate as a percentage of the labor force in the United States according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In March 2009, the unemployment rate was 8.5%. [62] Female unemployment continued to be significantly lower than male unemployment at 6.7%. Black unemployment continues to be much higher than white unemployment alomost double at 13.4% compared to 7.3% white unemployment. It was only recently that the unemployment rate increased steadily. [63]

International comparison

Further information: List of U.S. states by unemployment rate


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Economy of the United States
Proponents of the military actions of the United States reference the cost of the wars as a percent of national GDP. With a military budget of 4.06% of GDP,[67] the relative cost and impact to the economy is far less than at nearly any other time in the last 60 years, with military expenses topping at 37.8% of GDP in 1944 and 6.2% of GDP in 1986; with a low point of 3.0% in 2000, prior to the attacks of September 11, 2001. [68]

Unemployment rate for US states in March 2009 The Congressional Budget Office forecast that the unemployment rate could reach as high as 9% during 2010.[64]

Economic predictions and forecasting
Predictions about the direction of the United States economy in the short term and long term are crucial factors in determining federal government policies, business decisions, and Federal Reserve decisions. Several institutions make economic predictions, including: Global Insight, and the UCLA Anderson Forecast. Various state agencies, including the California Department of Finance, also make predictions.

The effect of military expenditure
Most economic models have shown that military spending by the United States Government has diverted resources from productive uses such as consumption and investment, which has ultimately slowed growth and reduced employment.[65] Estimates project that by 2017 the Iraq War and War in Afghanistan will have cost the U.S. budget between $1.7 trillion and $2.7 trillion. Interest on money borrowed to pay those costs could alone add a further $816 billion to that bottom line. Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz even says that estimating all economic and social costs might push the U.S. war bill up toward $5 trillion by 2017. This figure includes the cost to the U.S. economy of global oil prices that have quadrupled since 2003, an increase blamed partly on the Iraq war.[66]

Other statistics
Historic exchange rates:

[1] ^ "National Economic Accounts". BEA. Retrieved on 2008-11-17. [2] "Consumer Price Index Summary". Bureau of Labor Statistics. September 2009. cpi.nr0.htm. Retrieved on 2009-02-20. [3] "Poverty". Census Bureau. poverty/. Retrieved on 2008-11-17. [4] "Employment Situation OCTOBER 2008". Bureau of Labor Statistics. November 7, 2008. empsit.nr0.htm. Retrieved on 2008-11-17. [5] "Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Summary". U.S. Dept. of Labor. empsit.nr0.htm. Retrieved on 2009-04-03. [6] ^ Depat. of Commerce: Top trade partners [7] ^ "The Debt to the Penny". Treasury Department.

U.S. forces in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, 2007


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jan 2008 Canadian dollars per U.S. dollar 0.982 Jan 2007 1.165 Jan 2006 1.164 Jan 2005 1.204 Jan 2004 1.293 Jan 2003 1.576

Economy of the United States
Jan 2002 1.600 2001* 2000* 1999* 1998 1.548 1.485 1.485 1.483



Japanese yen 112.1 per U.S. dollar












Euros per US 0.6803 0.7577 0.8444 0.7387 0.7939 0.9534 1.128 dollar British pounds per U.S. dollar Chinese renminbi[69] per U.S. dollar


0.9947 0.8557 -


0.5009 0.5104 0.5812 0.5209 0.5600 0.6212 0.6981 0.6944 0.6596 0.6180 0.6037 0.61

7.3141 7.8175 8.0755 8.2865 8.2867 8.2871 8.2867 8.2782 8.2803 8.2789 8.2796 8.29

French francs per U.S. dollar Italian lire per U.S. dollar -




















1,668.7 1,763.2 1,70

German deutschmarks per U.S. dollar












Note: financial institutions in France, Italy, Germany, and eight other European countries started using th euro on 1 January 1999, with the euro replacing the local currency for all transactions in 2002. Their 199 figures are for January. *January 1 exchange rates BPDLogin?application=np. Retrieved on 2009-02-28. [8] ^ "Monthly Budget Review". CBO. October 7, 2008. ftpdocs/98xx/doc9818/10-2008-MBR.htm. Retrieved on 2008-11-17. [9] "Letter to Chairman". CBO. February 11, 2008. doc8971/Letter.2.1.shtml. Retrieved on 2008-11-17. [10] "Biggest donors by GDP". BBC News. pop_ups/05/ business_aid_and_development/html/ 2.stm. Retrieved on 2008-11-17. [11] "Rank Order - GDP (purchasing power parity)". CIA. library/publications/the-world-factbook/ rankorder/2001rank.html. Retrieved on 2008-09-21. [12] "National Economic Accounts: Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "Current-dollar and ’real’ GDP"". Bureau of Economic Analysis. index.htm. Retrieved on 2008-02-21. [13] Can the World Stop the Slide, TIME, February 4, 2008, page 27. [14] "Gross External Debt position published by the United States Department of the Treasury". debta908.html. [15] "CIA World Factbook 2007". factbook/geos/us.html#Econ. [16] US spends its way to 28 Eiffel towers: made out of pure gold, Times Online [17] ^ "Worries grow of deeper U.S. recession".


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 03/21/us.recession.ap/index.html. Retrieved on 2008-11-17. [18] Zuckerman, Mortimer B. (December 15-22, 2008). Editorial: Heading Off a Depression. US News and World Report. [19] Bivens, L. Josh (December 14, 2004). Debt and the dollar Economic Policy Institute. Retrieved on July 8, 2007. [20] Associated Press (January 30, 2006).US savings rate hits lowest level since 1933MSNBC. Retrieved on May 6, 2007. [21] Cauchon, Dennis and John Waggoner (October 3, 2004).The Looming National Benefit Crisis. USA Today [22] "dollar hits record low against euro, oil prices rally". english/2008-02/27/ content_7679604.htm. [23] BBC News (2008-12-01). "US recession ’began last year’". BBC News. 7759470.stm. Retrieved on 2008-12-01. [24] "Index of Economic Freedom - United States". features/index/ country.cfm?ID=Unitedstates. Retrieved on 2008-11-17. [25] Anderson, Jack (2006-05-22). "Tax Misery & Reform Index". 0522/032.html. Retrieved on 2008-11-17. [26] U.S. Department of state:How the U.S. Economy Works Retrieved December 1, 2008 [27] "Discontinuance of M3". h6/discm3.htm. [28] "U.S. Budget 2001". fy01/guide01.html. [29] / "U.S. Treasury". BPDLogin?application=np /. [30] "MSNBC". id//. [31] "Bloomberg". news?pid=&sid=aV04.D.whRXc&refer=us. [32] "Washington Post 29 December 2005". content/article/2005/12/29/AR.html. [33] Zeng, Min (October 6, 2008). "Bailout Funding Promises To Pressure Treasury

Economy of the United States
Prices". article/SB122324501349605953.html. Retrieved on 2008-11-17. [34] / "U.S. Treasury". /. [35] National Debt Burden : Full History [36] 2002 Economic Census - Summary Statistics by 2002 NAICS: data/us/US000.HTM [37] "Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization". Federal Reserve. 2009-03-16. G17/Current/default.htm. Retrieved on 2009-03-20. [38] "Electric Power Annual - Summary statistics for the United States". Energy Information Administration, US Government. 2009-01-21. epa/epates.html. Retrieved on 2009-03-20. [39] "Electric Power Monthly". Energy Information Administration, US Government. 2009-02-13. epm/epm_sum.html. Retrieved on 2009-03-20. [40] "EIA - Petroleum Basic Data". Energy Information Administration, US Government. February 2009. quickoil.html. Retrieved on 2009-03-20. [41] "EIA - Natural Gas Basic Data". Energy Information Administration, US Government. February 2009. quickgas.html. Retrieved on 2009-03-20. [42] Current account balance, U.S. dollars, Billions from IMF World Economic Outlook Database, April 2008 [43] ^ Chapter 5-10: The International Investment Position. International Finance Theory and Policy. 6/3/2004. Finance/ch5/5c100.html. Retrieved on 2008-11-17. [44] "News Release: U.S. International Investment Position, 2006". BEA. June 28, 2007. newsreleases/international/intinv/2007/ intinv06.htm. Retrieved on 2008-11-17. [45] Bivens, L. Josh (December 14, 2004). "Debt and the dollar: The United States damages future living standards by


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Economy of the United States

borrowing itself into a deceptively deep ViewData?action=402&documentproductno=SSC120 hole". Retrieved on 2007-10-07. content.cfm/Issuebrief203. Retrieved on [57] "israeli median household income, 2006". 2008-11-17. [46] "Reflections on Global Account publications/households06/pdf/t03_1.pdf. Imbalances and Emerging Markets Retrieved on 2008-01-15. Reserve Accumulation" [58] "Scottish Economic Statistics 2007". 2006/0324_rbi.htmlLawrence H. 2007/07/18083820/71. Retrieved on Summers, speech at The Reserve Bank of 2007-10-09. India, Mumbai, India, March 24, 2006 [59] "West Virginia, Median Household [47] "The Chinese Connection" Income, 2005". hhes/www/income/income04/ 052005.htmlby Paul Krugman, originally statemhi.html. Retrieved on 2007-03-22. published in May 20, 2002 in The New [60] "Hong Kong median household income, York Times. 2005". [48] Books/ADO/2005/hkg.asp. Retrieved on usfth/aggregate/H04t55.pdf 2007-01-19. [49] [61] "Singapore median household income, usfth/aggregate/H04t56.pdf 2005". [50] "Understanding Poverty in America". keystats/annual/ghs/r2/chap3.pdf. Retrieved on 2007-01-19. Welfare/bg1713.cfm. [62] "Current Population Survey". Bureau of [51] ^ "Revenus et dépenses de l’ensemble Labor Statistics, US Government. March des ménages, 2006". 6, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-03-20. index/themen/20/02/blank/key/ [63] "The United States Unemployment Rate". einkommen0/niveau.html. Retrieved on NPA Services INC.. February 7, 2009. 2009-05-22. [52] "California Median Household income, urbymonth.asp?hp. Retrieved on 2006". 2009-02-22. article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/08/30/ [64] The Budget and Economic Outlook: MNGMPKRNOT1.DTL. Retrieved on Fiscal Years 2009 to 2019, Congressional 2007-03-22. Budget Office, January 2009, pp. 44, [53] "Canada median household income". doc.cfm?index=9957 census06/data/topics/ [65] The Economic Impact of the Iraq War RetrieveProductTable.cfm?ALEVEL=3&APATH=3&CATNO=97-563-XCB2006045&DETAIL=0&DIM= and Higher Military Spending Dean Retrieved on 2008-5-2. Baker, May 2007, Center for Economic [54] "New Zealand income survey showing and Policy Research median household income". [66] Studies: Iraq war will cost $12 billion a updated 10:26 p.m. ET March 9, services/hot-off-the-press/nz-income2008 survey/new-zealand-income-survey[67] CIA - The World Factbook updated jun-07-qtrNovember 6, 2008 hotp.htm?page=para002Master. [68] "Relative Size of US Military Spending, Retrieved on 2007-10-04. 1940–2003". [55] "UK parliament discussion showing household income". relative-size.php. Retrieved on http://www.parliament.the-stationery2008-11-17. [69] "FXHistory: Historical Currency cm060719/text/60719w1831.htm. Exchange Rates". Retrieved on 2006-12-31. convert/fxhistory. [56] "Census QuickStats". ABSNavigation/prenav/


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Economy of the United States
• U.S. Dept of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics • U.S. Dept of Commerce - Bureau of Economic Analysis • FRB: Z.1 Release-- Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States, Release Dates • OECD’s United States country Web site and OECD Economic Survey of the United States • U.S. Energy Information Administration • National Bureau of Economic Research (USA) Economics material from the organization that declares Recessions and Recoveries. • Bureau of Labor Statistics–from the American Labor Department • US Department of Commerce Economics Statistics • The Heritage Foundation: Understanding Poverty in America • The Possible Collapse of the American Economy at 2007 • GDP growth viz Savings rate since 1985 Comparing GDP growth rate with the Savings rate since 1985 • Gross Domestic Product Growth - USA • Unemployment Rate - USA • Consumer Price Index - USA • Dollars & Sense • A U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Strengthening Democracy and Progress in Latin America • United States Economic Recession History • "Why There Won’t Be a Revolution" by Jerry Adler, Newsweek, February 16 2009

See also
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Income in the United States Household income in the United States Personal income in the United States Income inequality in the United States Affluence in the United States Wealth in the United States Energy policy of the United States American Dream Balance of payments Economy of Puerto Rico American trade List of United States companies National debt by U.S. presidential terms Includes federal spending and GDP Economic history of the United States List of industry trade groups in the United States Subprime mortgage crisis Oil price increases since 2003 Late 2000s recession Proposed bailout of U.S. financial system (2008) United States federal budget

External links
• CIA - The World Factbook - United States • Outline of the U.S. Economy • Bureau of Economic Analysis: Selected NIPA tables (Lots of U.S. economic data) • "List of Corporate Leaders of the United States," Economic Expert • U.S. Economic Calendar • U.S. Census Bureau

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