October 26th, 2012
04:45 PM ET

America's economy on the mend?

By Fareed Zakaria

The GDP growth numbers are out, and they confirm the point that I have been making recently – that the U.S. is the cleanest dirty shirt in the pile. Yes, we have our problems, but if you compare us to Europe or Japan then the latest numbers suggest we are actually starting to get some decent growth.

According to Reuters:

“Gross domestic product expanded at a 2 percent annual rate, the Commerce Department said on Friday, accelerating from the second quarter's 1.3 percent pace. A pace in excess of 2.5 percent is needed over several quarters to make substantial headway cutting the jobless rate.”

Of course, the big short term challenge we face is the so-called fiscal cliff – the massive tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled to come into force in January that would be a huge blow to the slowly recovering U.S. economy. Yet even now, if Congress were to act decisively and make clear that no matter what the fiscal cliff could be averted, it would probably provide a significant boost to the economy. After all, companies are naturally worried about sharp cuts in government spending that would force those providing goods and services to cut back.

Congress could very easily lift this shadow, and it is in both parties’ interests to do so – both will get blamed if the U.S. is plunged back into recession. But there doesn’t seem likely to be any progress on this before the election.

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Topics: 2012 Election • Economy

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. j. von hettlingen

    So, the economy is better off than it was four years ago. The current administration should be given the credit for it and Obama deserves another term to put the economy back on its feet.

    October 27, 2012 at 7:05 am | Reply
    • Jim

      No, the current administration should not be given credit as credit is owed to the fact that America's economy is driven more by domestic consumption than any other in the world. The fact that we're the fastest horse in the glue factory handicap is no reason to go through four more years of failed policies. Reagan turned the Carter disaster around in four years. Obama hasn't. Time for Romney to have a shot at it.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  2. matslats

    Amazing that the economy is looking up just before the election!
    The whole economy is a sham. Accounting fraud is endemic, and well known, you just don't report it!

    October 27, 2012 at 7:48 am | Reply
  3. matt

    Any stats to support the economic death spiral? Just give it time.

    October 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  4. Jack Peverill

    I used to think Fareed was an impartial reporter and analyst. No More. He is extremely biased but tries to cover it up!Q I have stopped watching.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:18 am | Reply
  5. karen

    you talk of socail security and saving it. you need to talk of socail security and making it a reality. became disabled in april. had private insurance for 6 months. now i start ssd it is less than 1/2 of what i brought home every month. have a 14 year old still at home. not enough money to pay rent and electric bill. am trying now to sell life insurance. why have i worked for 30 plus years and will spend my last days homeless.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:50 am | Reply
  6. Ron

    As a conservative, I normally find Fareed intellectually honest and thought provoking. However, I was a bit disappointed with his clearly partisan attempt to pre-empt any Romney economic success, should he become president, as inherited from Obama. To this point, Fareed cited the Federal Reserve policies as contributory to the economic pluses. However, what wasn't pointed out was that Obama inherited Bernacke, Geitner, TARP, and QE1 from the Bush era. So, for a president who loves to pass the buck and tell us what he inherited, when it's something negative, let's all remind people of what Obama inherited when it comes to things the left perceives as positive.

    October 28, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  7. Don

    Though I slant conservative, I don't care for the likes of Hannity ( or Bahar for that matter) and I look across the isle for for people that I can build some consensus with and I like some of the perspective that Fareed brings to the table. But today I think he made a terribly partisan comment by suggesting that if Mitt won the election he would inherit an economy primed for recovery by the Obama Administration. Fact of the matter is, this was not the worse recession since the great depression. I sat in those gas lines for two hours during the latter Carter years and Reagan Inherited a recession that hosted over 10% unemployment, 14% inflation and 21% mortgage interest rates. Fast forward to 2008, though Bush policy was responsible for the unfolding financial fiasco, it was his desperate TARP program that prevented the cascading collapse of the market and the majority of that money was paid back a year later with interest. Moreover, not only did we come out of recession in 2009, it's a general consensus that industry has about 2 trillion dollars at it's disposal for investment, but after a modest summer of recovery the economy regressed for the next two years before wobbling its way back to 2%. Fact of the matter is, it is Obama Administration policy that has hosted one of the worst economic recoveries since the great depression and nothing he proposes is going to change that in the next four years. I like you Fareed, but that was a disingenuous comment at best and unbecoming of your thoughtful temperament.


    October 28, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Reply
    • Chris T

      For a different perspective on how the TARP program was executed and the actual results/processes, please read Matt Taibi's article on the matter. You will come to the conclusion that the govt did not make money back on interest from the bank loans.

      October 29, 2012 at 9:37 am | Reply
  8. g

    when reagan was president you could buy products -made in USA-the factory was down the road ready to put people to work-now they are parking lots thanks to shipping jobs over seas.creating jobs from the basement up takes time.

    October 29, 2012 at 12:21 am | Reply

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