Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Here’s 5 Key Economic Indicators Ahead of the State of the Union
Press Release

RELEASE: Here’s 5 Key Economic Indicators Ahead of the State of the Union

Washington, D.C. — In 2023, the U.S. economy defied expectations by not just avoiding a recession but also proving its resilience and strength through robust job growth, cooling inflation, and outperforming peer nations. A new Center for American Progress column highlights five key indicators that illustrate the United States’ strong economic foundation. Some key takeaways from the column include:

  1. The United States has had the strongest economic recovery in the G7. In 2023, real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 3.1 percent, beating expectations amid persistent global economic uncertainties. Most notably, U.S. GDP grew faster than that of every country in the G7.
  2. The United States has had the fastest jobs recovery among recent recessions. The number of jobs in the economy surpasses Congressional Budget Office pre-pandemic projections by 2.7 million.
  3. The United States is experiencing the longest stretch of an under-4 percent unemployment rate in more than 50 years. The unemployment rate has continued to beat projections, staying at or under 4 percent since December 2021. This is one of the longest stretches in history in which the unemployment rate has remained under 4 percent.
  4. U.S. manufacturing is seeing a boom in construction investment. In the fourth quarter of 2023, real private investment in manufacturing structures was the highest on record and contributed the most to real year-on-year GDP growth since data began to be collected in 1958.
  5. The United States has seen record-breaking numbers of new business applications. In part thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act, the number of new employer business applications surged during the COVID-19 economic recovery, with 5.2 million new business applications filed since January 2021, likely leading to job creation that will continue into the future.

“The economy has not only recovered from the devastating COVID-19 pandemic and associated recession at a historically fast pace, but on many fronts it has has surpassed the pre-pandemic status quo,” said Rose Khattar, director of economic analysis for Inclusive Economy at CAP.

“One thing is abundantly clear: Bold public investments in workers and families, such as those in the American Rescue Plan and the new industrial strategy, are why the U.S. economy is poised to capitalize on a strong foundation throughout 2024,” said David Ballard, associate director for economic policy at CAP.

Read the column: “5 Key Economic Indicators Ahead of the State of the Union” by Rose Khattar, David Ballard, and Jessica Vela

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Sarah Nadeau at [email protected].

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