It could be worse

The slow progress in the economy continues to be a major issue for most people. But sometimes it’s good to put issues in perspective. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden considers how the U.S. economy has performed relative to other countries.

“Well …, if we look at our country’s economic performance since the bottom of the recession and compare it to the performance of other major countries that we compare ourselves to — like Canada and countries in Europe — we’ve actually done fairly well.

“Let me give you some numbers. Since the bottom of the recession, U.S. aggregate economic production has grown 1.2 percent. Now Canada’s done much better. Canada’s is up 3.7 percent. But if you go to Europe and look at European countries, we look very, very good.

“Germany, which has gotten a lot of positive attention, their aggregate production since the bottom of the recession is up only 1 percent. Again ours is 1.2 percent. And several countries in Europe have actually continued to see a decline in their aggregate production. For example, Britain is down 4.4 percent. France is down about 1 percent. Italy is down 6 percent. And Ireland and Greece both have seen their aggregate production down between 12 and 16 percent.

“So, sure, we would like our economy to be better, but in comparison to some other countries we’re doing relatively good.”

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