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Recession has struck some of world's top economies, but U.S. keeps defying expectations

45 Comments
By STAN CHOE and CHRISTOPHER RUGABER

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If Biden loses re-election, maybe he can come to Japan and run the economy here.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

As some of the world’s biggest economies stumble into recession, the United States keeps chugging along.

Ironic, this story, appearing on the very same day that:

Retail sales MoM dived .8 percent (biggest decrease in retail sales since March last year);

Four-week jobless claims average grew 218.5K;

Retail sales increased an anemic 0.6% YoY in January, the lowest annual gain since the fall of May 2020;

Industrial production pointed down 0.1 percent MoM after recording no change in December. While manufacturing output fell by 0.5 percent, and 0.9 percent YoY;

Capacity utilization rate fell to 78.5 percent the lowest since September 2021, and 1.1 percentage points below its long-run average.

Chugging? More like putter, putter, cough, stall, putt, putt.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

But, for now, the outlook continues to appear better for the United States than many other big economies. 

The "Iron Triangle", the military industrial complex is the secret sauce of the American economy.

Of course that leaves out a significant portion of the populace not benefitting from this crony capitalism.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

As some of the world’s biggest economies stumble into recession, the United States keeps chugging along.

Nice joke..

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Even China, whose economy is growing faster than the United States’, is under heavy pressure. Its stock markets have been among the world’s worst recently due to worries about a sluggish economic recovery and troubles in the property sector.

The Chinese economy has, “struggled” or “on the verge of collapse” or now “under heavy pressure”, less than the developed world economies since the pandemic. It’s more important to note now that the economic indicators show the West in trouble while China isn’t. All of the developed world except the US is doing really badly. And even the US is not good.

The US budget deficit is around 30% which is the only reason why US has grown “above expectations” or “defy expectations.” Then you also have to look at the monkeying around with gdp and inflation numbers.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Prices will not return to what they were pre-pandemic/Brexit. Your governments have made you poorer.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

US economy like Japan, it's ONLY massive Govt. deficit spending that's keeping GDP growing. For 2023, Govt. deficit spending was 2x actual GDP growth. 2024 it'll be an even greater sugar high unsustainable spending.

ONLY 13% of Americans feel better off financially under Biden Admin per recent polling. Top 1% Biden approval of 85%, record for this cohort. NBC poll last week has Biden's overall approval at 37%, but lower for economic, 25pts behind Trump, while only 5pts behind overall.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Important to note US average work week falling and that means less cash for people to spend. Companies trying to avoid layoffs, by reducing work loads of employees.

All is not well for most US consumers, inflation adjusted spending's been falling for some time economy wide.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Your governments have made you poorer.

That’s an odd statement. In Japan’s case, it’s been the private sector that has cut real wages over the past 30 years even while raking in the highest profits in history.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

JeffLeeToday  10:06 am JST

Your governments have made you poorer.

That’s an odd statement. In Japan’s case, it’s been the private sector that has cut real wages over the past 30 years even while raking in the highest profits in history.

You're both RIGHT! Crazy Japanese deficit spending that continues and record sovereign debt levels is destroying value of the Yen, making ALL poorer on a constant currency basis. Companies also squeezing employees!

Above negative 'poorhouse' trends continue, so any real surprise population collapse accelerating and aging?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I think only the hysterically partisan and the dishonest would see only negatives in the state of the US economy at the moment.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Most don't realize that equity market performance is not correlated with strong economic growth. Why? Great companies consolidate market share and hire top talent in slow growth or recessionary environments.

Strong corp. profits today in part due to many failed businesses in Covid era and Govt. inflationary money printing = 'green' light for Corps to price aggressively.

Consumer spending in Europe, China, US and Japan etc. all negative for some time on an inflation adjusted basis. Well run Corps like inflationary environments/see above!

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Today, I see the UK went into recession end of the year.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Much of great global corporate profits coming as result of consumers being GOUGED. Another key reason incumbent politicians SO unpopular, e.g. Biden, terrible approval historically, even worse on issue of economy.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

There is the observation that public opinion on the economy lags behind the reality.

A long way to go until November. Those getting hysterical over polls now are jumping the gun.

I still think Biden shouldn’t run again but he could be playing a pretty strong hand on the economy by the end of the year.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Today, I see the UK went into recession end of the year.

Still some way to go until the next election in the UK but Sunak is playing a really bad hand as it stands. The image of the Tories as a pair of safe haves with the economy is shot.

Hard to see where the good news for him is coming from.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

*safe hands

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

High Prices are embedded, core US inflation been stuck at 4% since June last year, CPI bottomed in June as well.

Reason most UNHAPPY, HIGH Prices, thus people are seeing their purchasing power drop. Just as important, HIGH interest rates, few can buy new home, payments on Auto & Student loans, credit cards, etc., MUCH higher.

Payments all debt not considered inflation, but tell that to anyone with car, home or auto loans resetting higher.

Biden's unable to change above cost-of-living crisis in America, ONLY 13% feel better off Financially under Biden, 36% unchanged, 51% WORSE-OFF

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Consumers/Voters in US polling NOT happy about economic conditions, Trump in highly regarded NBC poll last week beats Biden by 30pts on the economy.

Again, see comments above, Corp. profits and markets usually do well with elevated inflation and high prices, because Corp's $Price GOUGING Consumers/Voters.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Your governments have made you poorer.

That’s an odd statement. In Japan’s case, it’s been the private sector that has cut real wages over the past 30 years even while raking in the highest profits in history.

Were 竹中平蔵 Takenaka Heizo and Koizumi Junichiro 小泉純一郎 a part of the private sector? This the "Alan Greenspan" and the "George Bush" of the 2000's.

During the long stagnation of the Japanese economy, commonly known as Japan’s Great Stagnation, “structural reform (Kozo Kaikaku:構造改革)” was a major buzzword. In short, they allowed companies to cut costs and fringe benefits of full-time employees with lifetime employment and turn them into just part-timers.

Though the statement was not, only the government made the people poorer, the government has made the people poorer,

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The US is re-industrializing at a fast pace. Factory construction is exploding as firms are moving to insulate themselves from the supply chain shortages that emerged during COVID.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Agreed there are "green shoots" in US economy but if things so great, why are consumers so negative on Biden's economic performance? Why historically high US Govt. "Peace-time/Non WW II" deficit (% GDP) spending?

Truth is things are worse in Europe, Japan & China (due to housing) relative to US, but that's not saying much. Most Consumers/Voters under serious financial stress.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

HopeSpringsEternalToday 01:10 pm JST

Agreed there are "green shoots" in US economy but if things so great, why are consumers so negative on Biden's economic performance? Why historically high US Govt. "Peace-time/Non WW II" deficit (% GDP) spending?

Truth is things are worse in Europe, Japan & China (due to housing) relative to US, but that's not saying much. Most Consumers/Voters under serious financial stress.

Because they have to work their way out of BS spewed by various internet commentators.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Imagine, average US consumer/voter paying far more for necessities under Biden, food, housing, energy, medical, various services, etc. It's all up 25% or more in 3 YEARS?!

Above = real financial stress in US, PLUS interest rates THRU the ROOF, debt payments FAR higher, but again not considered inflation. Most without home equity TRAPPED in $Rental HELL, as Corp's $PRICE GOUGE

Biden's 30+ down on economy vs. Trump in last week's NBC Poll for above economic reality. Recall Official US CPI inflation just 1.4% Jan 2021? Voters Remember!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

HopeSpringsEternalToday  01:23 pm JST

Imagine, average US consumer/voter paying far more for necessities under Biden, food, housing, energy, medical, various services, etc. It's all up 25% or more in 3 YEARS?!

Above = real financial stress in US, PLUS interest rates THRU the ROOF, debt payments FAR higher, but again not considered inflation. Most without home equity TRAPPED in $Rental HELL, as Corp's $PRICE GOUGE

Biden's 30+ down on economy vs. Trump in last week's NBC Poll for above economic reality. Recall Official US CPI inflation just 1.4% Jan 2021? Voters Remember!

So easily disproven....

US core inflation for last four months; Oct: 4%, Nov: 4%, Dec: 3.9%, Jan: 3.9%...

https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/core-inflation-rate

Russia core inflation for last four months: Oct: 5.5%, Nov: 6.36%, Dec: 6.83%, Jan: 7.2%....

https://tradingeconomics.com/russia/core-inflation-rate

Russia's core inflation is significantly higher than the US, and the US's is decreasing while Russia's is going up...

Let alone their young men being shipped off as cannon fodder for Putin's disastrous invasion...now going on two years...315,000 so far...

And don't let your 12 year old daughter write an anti-war cartoon at school - you'll be shipped off to the gulag for two years...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Afraid US inflation rate, annualizing latest 3 and 6 months, both picking up. There's reason market based interest rates on Treasuries all increasing since Oct.

You miss the point, HIGH PRICES Embedded. Even if inflation's less than its peak, HIGH PRICES increasing. E.g. latest yr over yr rental/housing, 6% annualized Increase

Conveniently ignoring HIGH Interest Rates, damage it's doing to consumers. Biden's LOW approval ratings due to above economic issues in large part but also open borders, crime etc. Biden trails Trump by 30pt in latest NBC poll on economy, FACT.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

A trade surplus will create wealth and a trade deficit will destroy wealth, undermining power. The Ottoman Empire was powerful when it controlled the trade routes from Europe to Asia. When those trade routes shifted away from the Ottoman Empire — to the sea route around the Cape of Good Hope - the Ottoman Empire declined from lack of revenue.

The US does not have a trade surplus. Its economy chisels away its own wealth. The United States economy destroys three quaters of a trillion dollars of wealth every year through its trade deficit. On top of that you have to send money to Ukraine, Israel, and the Republic of China.

The country is run by an oligarchy that is looting the nation's wealth. These billion dollar defense packages for Ukraine are really intended to enrich the arms makers, at the expense of the American people.

 Biden trails Trump by 30pt in latest NBC poll on economy, FACT.

Yes there is hope. The government does not have the ability to go against the oligarchy because it is run by people put in on both sides of the governement by the oligarchy. It is actually quite a clever system of authoritarian rule that flies smoothly and silenty under the radar.

US auto makers also have suffered decades of decline. No one in America cares. America's steel industry is being sold to the Japanese, along with country's ability to defend itself. This is a real national security issue unlike Huawei phones or Tik Tok. Stop the sale of U.S. Steel.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Truth is things are worse in Europe, Japan & China (due to housing) relative to US, but that's not saying much. Most Consumers/Voters under serious financial stress.

Because they have to work their way out of BS spewed by various internet commentators.

Pot meet kettle.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

The country is run by an oligarchy that is looting the nation's wealth. These billion dollar defense packages for Ukraine are really intended to enrich the arms makers, at the expense of the American people.

Great points indeed! I'd add corrupt globalists pursuing their great power and wealth agenda USING US Govt and all its tools and policies, especially role of Ukraine Proxy War and inflation they've intentionally ginned up in order to weaponize $USD and inflate 'bubble' markets.

Normal regular US citizens and business gets thrown under the bus, inflation, high interest rates, high prices simply crushing most, while elite globalists LOVE IT.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

US core inflation for last four months; Oct: 4%, Nov: 4%, Dec: 3.9%, Jan: 3.9%...

https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/core-inflation-rate

Russia core inflation for last four months: Oct: 5.5%, Nov: 6.36%, Dec: 6.83%, Jan: 7.2%....

https://tradingeconomics.com/russia/core-inflation-rate

Russia's core inflation is significantly higher than the US, and the US's is decreasing while Russia's is going up...

Ah, here come the Putin obsessed again. So just a 2-3 % points difference between Russian and US inflation rate after being sanctioned by the Western world for the last 2 plus years? Is that all? Damn it, is this how resilient the Russian economy is despite all those "working sanctions" that were supposed to collapse Vlad's village in no time according to the experts?

Those numbers must be part of another Russian maskirovka.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

HopeSpringsEternalToday  01:52 pm JST

Afraid US inflation rate, annualizing latest 3 and 6 months, both picking up. There's reason market based interest rates on Treasuries all increasing since Oct.

You miss the point, HIGH PRICES Embedded. Even if inflation's less than its peak, HIGH PRICES increasing. E.g. latest yr over yr rental/housing, 6% annualized Increase

Conveniently ignoring HIGH Interest Rates, damage it's doing to consumers. Biden's LOW approval ratings due to above economic issues in large part but also open borders, crime etc. 

Biden trails Trump by 30pt in latest NBC poll on economy, FACT.

US inflation has not dropped since mid 2023 and has slightly re-accelerated. Hence market-based interest rates rising, prices dropping on US Treasuries since Oct.

Article's not about Russia, but US poor financial health, +34 $Trillion in Sovereign Debt, more twice that amount in unfunded Govt. pension & healthcare liabilities.

Record US Govt. Deficit peacetime spending only thing keeping US economy growing, US consumers/voters Unhappy with HIGH Prices, Sticky Inflation & HIGH Interest Rates.

Hence Biden's Economic polling so weak, 30pts behind Trump in NBC poll last week.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The US is doing good thanks to the Biden no wars policy. We can only hope the strength to deter America's enemies survives the 2024 election.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Glad someone thinks the world's peaceful, full of strawberries and cream! US doing 'well' due to record US Govt. deficit spending, pumping up money supply to goose markets and record Corp. $price gouging profits!

But for average consumer/voter, per NBC poll last week, Biden's 30pts in the hole on economy vs. Trump.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Numbers per see don’t lie it’s people who lie with numbers. It’s evident the far left is good at and they will go to any length to paint a rosy economic condition under Joe but the reality is the economy stinks to its core and many are suffering.

“Give much of the credit to U.S. households, who have continued to spend at a solid rate despite many challenges. Their spending makes up the majority of the U.S. economy.”

just a simple question how much household debt to credit card companies?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I live in Silicon Valley. Trust me, the US economy is not doing great. Prices of essential goods like food, daily essential goods, energy, rent, insurance, car expenses, house expenses, etc have skyrocketed about 30% under Biden/Democrats. On average, households are spending about $11,000 to 12,000 a year more than three years ago. Credit card debt and 401K withdrawals are the highest since the financial collapse. Housing sales is lowest since financial collapse. Companies are laying off like crazy. Mostly high paying jobs. Many economic metrics do not look good, but the mainstream liberal media won't really report on that stuff.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It’s evident the far left is good at and they will go to any length to paint a rosy economic condition under Joe but the reality is the economy stinks to its core and many are suffering.

The exact opposite.

https://jacobin.com/2023/12/biden-economy-performance-opinion-polling-metrics

The neo-lib trickle-down policies of Trump corporate tax cuts and Biden's half-measures are hated by the "far-left".

Maybe try to lay off the weak parroted rhetoric and misnaming?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

America's reckoning has yet to come.

It will.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

BertieWoosterToday 05:55 pm JST

America's reckoning has yet to come.

It will.

Rome lasted thousands of years. They always assured us they never waged an unjust war, too.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Best indicator of true consumer sentiment is polling from recognized sources. If things so great in US, why's Biden doing so badly in polling below & CTD's tough reality?

Biden's 30+ down on economy vs. Trump in last week's NBC Poll for above economic reality. Recall Official US CPI inflation just 1.4% Jan 2021? Voters Remember!

CrashTestDummyToday  04:56 pm JST

I live in Silicon Valley. Trust me, the US economy is not doing great. Prices of essential goods like food, daily essential goods, energy, rent, insurance, car expenses, house expenses, etc have skyrocketed about 30% under Biden/Democrats. On average, households are spending about $11,000 to 12,000 a year more than three years ago. Credit card debt and 401K withdrawals are the highest since the financial collapse. Housing sales is lowest since financial collapse. Companies are laying off like crazy. Mostly high paying jobs. Many economic metrics do not look good, but the mainstream liberal media won't really report on that stuff.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

“The neo-lib trickle-down policies of Trump corporate tax cuts and Biden's half-measures are hated by the "far-left".

Maybe try to lay off the weak parroted rhetoric and misnaming? “

Im sorry but the parroting job is already taken by the Main Stream Media Goebbels and DNC waterboys/ girls.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Well, we don’t have to live on the San Francisco peninsula to know the consumer price index but it’s good to have someone on the ground.

Numbers per see don’t lie it’s people who lie with numbers. 

The numbers are out for 2023. We can look them up. It was 17 degrees in Tokyo today. You can say “it feels like 20 degrees” or “I think it’s 15 degrees”but no one will believe you if you say it was 30 degrees Celsius. It’s the same with economic indicators. The “Communist” numbers and data from the U.S. don’t lie. China data is conservative while the U.S. tend to be rosy.

Bass and Blacklabel strangely quiet.

Are you missing the “take any article and make it a bipartisan back and forth revelry?”

Trump knows he has only four years and once he is elected , that's it. He has nothing - no elections - to worry about.

If he genuinely wants to boost the US Economy, he’ll need to reverse his anti-China policy. If he persists with 60% Tariffs - he could do some serious damage and take the US to become the next USSR. He knows that better than Raimondo or Biden or Haley.

Trump has to keep the Anti China Rhetoric to keep the business people who are scared of losing the Chinese Market by 2025–26 and competing with Chinese equivalents in the Global South by 2030.

If Trump makes a deal, the best deal would be having the US fund the capital and China develop the products with China’s technology.

The US would thus own parts of Chinese Businesses. In China, the law limits foreign ownership to a mere 5% or 15%.

If China increases this to a maximum 51% or 60% like in Singapore or Korea or 49% like in India then Trump would more than come out on top.

After all the US acquired a lot of its technological dominance in that way, buying out competition and owning the same competition.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

In God, we trust...the eagle economy flies high soaring over the American Empire financial stability

2 ( +2 / -0 )

quercetumFeb. 16 09:01 pm JST

If Trump makes a deal, the best deal would be having the US fund the capital and China develop the products with China’s technology.

The opaque China regulatory system means no sane investor is going to throw money into that pit with no assurance of getting it back.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Lots of mental gymnastics in this thread trying explain why the US is “actually doing bad”. Keep coping.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

quercetumFeb. 16 09:01 pm JST

If Trump makes a deal, the best deal would be having the US fund the capital and China develop the products with China’s technology.

The opaque China regulatory system means no sane investor is going to throw money into that pit with no assurance of getting it back.

Yes, the Germans are insane then. German direct investment in China rose by 4.3% to a record high of 11.9 billion euros ($12.7 billion) last year and also increased as a share of the country's overall investment abroad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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