The U.S. Economy in 2015: Still on the Upswing
March 9, 2015
Though Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth reflected poorly upon the U.S. economy — at least compared to the rest of the year — at the end of 2014, economists remain convinced 2015 will be another year of recovery and growth for America. GDP is one of the broadest measures of economic health economists use to evaluate the economy. GDP includes consumption, investment, government spending and trade.
Those following the United States' economic growth may have been slightly alarmed by the last quarter.
- GDP fell to 2.2 percent rather than the expected decrease to 2.6 percent.
- There was an overall 2.4 percent reduction in growth for the third quarter
- Consumption increases have been largely responsible for driving the economy, with an increase of 4.2 percent, economists credit gas prices as one of the overall reasons for this
- The University of Michigan noted that its consumer sentiment index, which measures how confident consumers feel about the economy overall fell from 98.1 to 95.4, but the decline is attributed to cold weather since confidence actually rose in the South, while decreasing dramatically in the Northeast
Additionally, business investment fell and a strong dollar made it expensive for foreign countries to buy American goods, which reduced exports and hurt the economy. Despite these contractions, economists in public and private sectors expect a return to stable growth in 2015, starting with the end of winter.
Source: Jeffrey Sparshott, "U.S. Growth Poised to Pick Up," Wall Street Journal, February 27, 2015.
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