Bloomberg News sat down with Peter Coy, Bloomberg Businessweek Economics Editor, and Susan Lyne, AOL BBG Ventures President, to discuss the American economy, and to try to answer the question: is America roaring back economically?
Coy reported that with an average of a quarter million jobs added per month, things are looking good, particularly in comparison with some of the other countries in the world that are seeing difficult economic times. Lyne, similarly, was able to report higher consumer and investor confidence.
However, there are still big problems in the U.S. The prosperity is focused at the top, while the median income for a household, adjusted for inflation, is actually lower now than it was in 2000. As the economy continues to recover, hopefully wages will begin to rise for the general public.
They also discussed the fourth numbers, which were a mixed bag of good and bad news. The economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2.6% was lower than the 3% economist estimate. However, the personal consumption growth at 4.3% was higher than the 4% economist estimate.
Perhaps the most significant number is the employment cost index, a broad measure of wage and benefits growth. The employment cost index matched the economist estimate at 0.6%. It is a little slower than the third quarter growth of 0.7%, which suggests that the U.S. is not seeing strong wage growth.
Video source: Bloomberg News