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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

U.S. Economy Not So Bad … Compared to Others

The story on U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2008 was not pretty. After all, real GDP growth registered -3.8 percent.

But the U.S. actually seems to be faring a bit better than some of our key partners in the global economy.

For example, the February 17 Washington Times reported the following:

• “Japan’s economic output shrank at a stunning annual rate of 12.7 percent in the fourth quarter, the steepest decline in 35 years…”

• “The [weekend’s] G-7 meeting commenced shortly after the European Union reported that the gross domestic product of the 15-nation eurozone plummeted at an annual rate of 5.9 percent during the October-December period. It was the steepest decline since the eurozone started compiling GDP records in 1995.”

• “The German economy, by far the eurozone's largest, plunged at an 8.1 percent rate. It was Germany's sharpest downturn since 1990.”

• “Earlier, Britain reported that its economy declined at a 5.9 percent rate during the last quarter of 2008, its biggest contraction since 1980.”

Of course, this is in no way good news for the U.S. After all, these are our trading partners. If they suffer, we suffer, for example, due to falling U.S. exports.

Where is the next Ronald Reagan to lead an international push for pro-growth tax and regulatory policy changes?

Raymond J. Keating
Chief Economist
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

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