Midyear Report Card on the Economy

As the economy moves into the second half of the year, how are we doing?  What are the strengths in the U.S. economy and what are its weaknesses?

The economy currently is lukewarm and merits a mediocre ranking of five on a 1-10 scale, with 1 representing the weakest score and 10 the strongest.  We began a recovery three years ago and although the upswing has been slow, a “double-dip” or retreat back to recession has been avoided.

The brightest spot in the economy involves the innovation and technological advances that continue in areas such as life sciences, web applications, and mobile devices.  The biggest problem hobbling the economy is uncertainty.  Business firms worry about consistency in their sales performance as well as the future of taxes, regulation, health care costs, and budget cuts in defense and other programs.  Investors are anxious over the outcome of developments in Europe, growth prospects in China and other developing nations, and financial reform.  Consumers continue to worry over jobs, the value of their homes, and their retirement  savings.

Technology is trying to drive us forward, but uncertainty is holding us back.



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