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U.S. economy is much stronger than opinion polls suggest


Multiple recent reports have demonstrated that the U.S. economy is growing at a historically high rate, inflation is steadily coming down, unemployment is very low, and wage growth is significantly higher than the rate of inflation. 


Gross domestic product, the primary measure of economic growth, increased at an annual rate of 5.2% for the third quarter (July, August and September). This was the third highest rate of economic growth in the last 20 years.  


Inflation, as measured by Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE), is down to 3%, the lowest it has been in more than a year. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the other major measure of inflation, is down to 3.1%. 


In November, employers added 199,000 jobs, the 35th consecutive month of job growth. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.7 percent, a four-month low. Yearly increase in wages was steady at 4%, which is significantly higher than the rate of inflation.   


Despite these very positive reports, recent polling has indicated that many Americans misperceive the state of the economy. For example, in a November Yahoo-Ipsos poll: 

  • Forty percent of those polled viewed the U.S. economy as doing about the same as other developed nations, while thirty-eight percent said it was doing worse The truth is that our economy is outperforming the economies of every other developed nation. 

  • Half of the poll respondents said that the unemployment rate was about average at the moment; twenty-four percent said it was unusually high. The truth is that the U.S. unemployment rate has been unusually low for many months. 

  • Forty-eight percent of those polled said the U.S. job market was been about average, and thirty-one percent said it is unusually weak. The truth is that since the beginning of the Biden-Harris administration, more than 14 million jobs have been added to the U.S. economy, which is the strongest job growth in the history of our nation. 


Why are poll respondents so off in their perceptions of the U.S. economy? A large part of the answer is that Donald Trump and his right-wing extremist collaborators, in the media and in Congress, repeatedly send out false negative messages about the state of our economy. These messages completely ignore the extraordinary economic gains that have been made, and are continuing to be made, during the Biden-Harris administration.  


We the people need to see through the lies and distortions and perceive the truth – the U.S economy is strong and resilient and the outlook for the economic future of our country is very positive. 


Larry Feldman 

Lakeside

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