The US Economy

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The United States is currently experiencing a slow recovery from the recession of 2008-09. The current unemployment rate is 7.7%, which is the lowest level since December of 2008 (BLS, 2012). However, this rate is believed to higher than the rate that would occur if the economy was operating at peak efficiency, and it is also believed that there are structural issues still underpinning this performance. For example, the number of Americans who have exited the work force as the result of prolonged unemployment is believed to be higher than usual. In addition, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO, 2012) notes that long-term unemployment of greater than 26 weeks is at a much higher rate than normal, which will have adverse long-run effects on the economy, since workers with long-term unemployment often find their career paths derailed. The current rate of GDP growth, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, is 2.7% (for Q3), and it was 1.3% in Q2 of this year. This rate reflects relatively slow growth, with challenges remaining in the domestic market and with sluggishness in Europe suppressing exports to that region. The rate of GDP growth is predicted to slow to a decline of 0.5% between Q4 2012 and Q4 2013, the US re-entering recession, according to the Congressional Budget Office's projections. These projections are based on the provisions of the Budget Control Act being enacted, though any observers are doubtful that this will occur. Inflation, the third major

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