March 27, 2013


The American Revival Is Underway (RICK NEWMAN, March 27, 2013, US NEWS)

In the United States by contrast, regulators have been more aggressive about unearthing problems at banks, which is why the U.S. financial system is generally stable less than five years after it nearly collapsed. And the U.S. economy is growing faster than expected. Forecasting firm Macroeconomic Advisers, for instance, recently raised its estimate of first-quarter GDP growth from 2.3 percent to a healthy 3.2 percent.

The U.S. economy has outperformed Japan's for a long time, and that will probably continue to be the case. Japan's central bank seems to be undertaking new efforts to defibrillate the stagnant Japanese economy, which may help. But it's five years behind the U.S. Federal Reserve, whose aggressive easy-money policies are now helping boost home and car sales, while also pushing stock prices higher.

Many Americans believe China's economy is the world's most powerful, even though China's GDP per capita is still less than one-fifth that of the United States. China is growing rapidly, of course, yet it remains a corrupt nation with choking pollution, inefficient state-run conglomerates and a legal system so fishy that thousands of dead pigs can show up in a major river outside of Shanghai and nobody can figure out why. Despite its industrial prowess, China is still a long way from being a modern, first-rate information economy.

America's standing has dropped noticeably in rankings such as the World Economic Forum's global competitiveness index, in which the United States has fallen from first to seventh since 2008. But the reasons for that decline may be reversing themselves. The biggest U.S. weakness in the latest WEF survey was its macroeconomic environment. That is clearly improving, with the financial meltdown of 2008 and subsequent recession finally generating reforms such as tougher banking regulations and a sharp reduction in private-sector debt that will make the U.S. economy stronger in the long run.

Posted by at March 27, 2013 8:10 PM

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