Economy of the United States
The economy of the United States is that of a highly developed country with a mixed economy. It is the world’s largest economy by nominal GDP and net wealth and the second-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). It has the world’s eighth-highest per capita GDP (nominal) and the tenth-highest per capita GDP (PPP) in 2019. The United States has the most technologically powerful economy in the world and its firms are at or near the forefront in technological advances, especially in computers, pharmaceuticals, and medical, aerospace, and military equipment. The U.S. dollar is the currency most used in international transactions and is the world’s foremost reserve currency, backed by its economy, its military, the petrodollar system and its linked eurodollar and large U.S. treasuries market. Several countries use it as their official currency and in others it is the de facto currency. The largest U.S. trading partners are China, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Germany, South Korea, United Kingdom, France, India, and Taiwan. The U.S. is the world’s largest importer and the second-largest exporter. It has free trade agreements with several nations, including Canada, Mexico, Australia, South Korea, Israel, and few others that are in effect or under negotiation.
The economy of the United States is the world’s largest economy by nominal GDP and net wealth
The nation’s economy is fueled by abundant natural resources, a well-developed infrastructure, and high productivity. It has the seventh-highest total-estimated value of natural resources, valued at Int$45 trillion in 2015. Americans have the highest average household and employee income among OECD member states, and in 2010, they had the fourth-highest median household income, down from second-highest in 2007. By 1890, the United States had by far the world’s most productive economy. It is the world’s largest producer of petroleum and natural gas. In 2016, it was the world’s largest trading nation as well as its second-largest manufacturer, representing a fifth of the global manufacturing output. The U.S. not only has the largest internal market for goods, but also dominates the trade in services. U.S. total trade amounted to $4.2 trillion in 2018. Of the world’s 500 largest companies, 121 are headquartered in the U.S. The U.S. has the world’s highest number of billionaires with total wealth of $3.0 trillion. US commercial banks had $20 trillion in assets as of August 2020. US Global assets under management had more than $30 trillion in assets.
The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq are the world’s largest stock exchanges by market capitalization and trade volume. Foreign investments made in the U.S. total almost $4.0 trillion, while American investments in foreign countries total over $5.6 trillion. The U.S. economy is ranked first in international ranking on venture capital and Global Research and Development funding. Consumer spending comprised 68% of the U.S. economy in 2018, while its labor share of income was 43% in 2017. The U.S. has the world’s largest consumer market. The nation’s labor market has attracted immigrants from all over the world and its net migration rate is among the highest in the world. The U.S. is one of the top-performing economies in studies such as the Ease of Doing Business Index, the Global Competitiveness Report, and others.
United States Economic Indicators
United States GDP Growth Rate
On the expenditure side, personal consumption expenditures accounts for 68 percent of total GDP out of which purchases of goods constitute 23 percent and services 45 percent. Private investment accounts for 16 percent of GDP and government consumption and investment for 18 percent. As the value of goods exported (13.5 percent) is lower than the value of goods imported (16.5 percent), net exports subtracts 3 percent from the total GDP value.
United States Interest Rate
In the United States, the authority to set interest rates is divided between the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (Board) and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). The Board decides on changes in discount rates after recommendations submitted by one or more of the regional Federal Reserve Banks. The FOMC decides on open market operations, including the desired levels of central bank money or the desired federal funds market rate.
United States Inflation Rate
In the United States, unadjusted Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers is based on the prices of a market basket of: food (14 percent of total weight), energy (9.3 percent), commodities less food and energy commodities (19.4 percent) and services less energy services (57.3 percent). The last category is divided by: shelter (32.1 percent), medical care services (5.8 percent) and transportation services (5.5 percent).
United States Unemployment Rate
In the United States, the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force.
United States Government Dept to GDP
The United States recorded a government debt equivalent to 106.90 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product in 2019.
United States Balance of Trade
The United States has been running consistent trade deficits since 1976 due to high imports of oil and consumer products. In 2018, the biggest trade deficits were recorded with China, Mexico, Germany, Japan, Ireland, Vietnam and Italy and the biggest trade surpluses with Hong Kong, Netherlands, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Belgium, Brazil and Panama. China is the top trading partner, accounting for 16 percent of total trade, followed by Canada (15 percent) and Mexico (15 percent).
United States Currency Dollar
The United States Dollar Index or DXY measures the performance of the dollar against a basket of other currencies including EUR, JPY, GBP, CAD, CHF and SEK.
United States Stock Market
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is one of the most closely watched U.S. benchmark indices. It is a price-weighted index which tracks the performance of 30 large and well-known U.S. companies that are listed mostly on the New York Stock Exchange. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has a base value of 40.94 as of May 26, 1896.
United States Ease of Doing Business
The United States is ranked 6 among 190 economies in the ease of doing business, according to the latest World Bank annual ratings. The rank of the United States improved to 6 in 2019 from 8 in 2018. The Ease of doing business index ranks countries against each other based on how the regulatory environment is conducive to business operationstronger protections of property rights. Economies with a high rank (1 to 20) have simpler and more friendly regulations for businesses.
United States Business Confidence
The ISM Manufacturing PMI for the United States jumped to 59.3 in October of 2020 from 55.4 in September, beating market forecasts of 56.4. The reading pointed to the strongest growth in factory activity since September of 2018, amid faster increases in new orders (67.9 vs 60.2), new export orders (55.7 vs 54.3) and production (63 vs 61) and a rebound in employment (53.2 vs 49.6) and inventories (51.9 vs 47.1). Price pressures also intensified (65.5 vs 62.8). “The manufacturing economy continued its recovery in October. Survey Committee members reported that their companies and suppliers continue to operate in reconfigured factories; with every month, they are becoming more proficient at expanding output. Panel sentiment was optimistic (two positive comments for every cautious comment), a slight decrease compared to September”, Timothy R. Fiore, Chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee said.
The Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® is based on data compiled from purchasing and supply executives nationwide. Survey responses reflect the change, if any, in the current month compared to the previous month. For each of the indicators measured (New Orders, Backlog of Orders, New Export Orders, Imports, Production, Supplier Deliveries, Inventories, Customers’ Inventories, Employment and Prices), the report shows the percentage reporting each response, the net difference between the number of responses in the positive economic direction and the negative economic direction, and the diffusion index. A PMI™ reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally declining.
United States Consumer Confidence
The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment was revised slightly higher to 81.8 in October of 2020, reaching the highest since March. Still, the sentiment remains much below 101 reported in February, before the coronavirus pandemic started. Improvements were seen in both expectations (79.2 vs 78.8 in the advance estimate) and current conditions (85.9 vs 84.9). On the price front, inflation expectations for the year ahead were revised lower to 2.6 percent from 2.7 percent and those for the next 5 years were unchanged at 2.4 percent. “Consumer sentiment remained virtually unchanged from the first half of October (+0.6 points) and was insignificantly different from last month’s figure (+1.4 points). Fear and loathing produced this false sense of stability. Fears were generated by rising covid infection and death rates, and loathing was generated by the hyper-partisanship that has driven the election to ideological extremes”, Surveys of Consumers chief economist, Richard Curtin said.
The Index of Consumer Expectations focuses on three areas: how consumers view prospects for their own financial situation, how they view prospects for the general economy over the near term, and their view of prospects for the economy over the long term. Each monthly survey contains approximately 50 core questions, each of which tracks a different aspect of consumer attitudes and expectations. The samples for the Surveys of Consumers are statistically designed to be representative of all American households, excluding those in Alaska and Hawaii. Each month, a minimum of 500 interviews are conducted by telephone.
United States Bank Lending Rate
Bank Lending Rate in the United States remained unchanged at 3.25 percent in October from 3.25 percent in September of 2020.
In the United States, the prime lending rate is the average rate of interest charged on short term loans by commercial banks to companies.
United States Corruption Rank
The United States is the 23 least corrupt nation out of 180 countries, according to the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International.
United States Credit Rating
Fitch Ratings changed on Friday 31 July 2020 the United States’ sovereign rating outlook to negative from stable and affirmed the debt grade at AAA, citing as main trigger behind the revision the ongoing deterioration in the U.S. public finances and the absence of a credible fiscal consolidation plan, issues that were highlighted in the agency’s last rating review on March 26, 2020. Standard & Poor’s credit rating for the United States stands at AA+ with stable outlook. Moody’s credit rating for the United States was last set at Aaa with stable outlook. DBRS’s credit rating for the United States is AAA with stable outlook. In general, a credit rating is used by sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and other investors to gauge the credit worthiness of the United States thus having a big impact on the country’s borrowing costs. This page includes the government debt credit rating for the United States as reported by major credit rating agencies.
Taxation in the United States
The United States of America has separate federal, state, and local governments with taxes imposed at each of these levels. Taxes are levied on income, payroll, property, sales, capital gains, dividends, imports, estates and gifts, as well as various fees. In 2010, taxes collected by federal, state, and municipal governments amounted to 24.8% of GDP. In the OECD, only Chile and Mexico are taxed less as a share of their GDP.
Taxes fall much more heavily on labor income than on capital income. Divergent taxes and subsidies for different forms of income and spending can also constitute a form of indirect taxation of some activities over others. For example, individual spending on higher education can be said to be “taxed” at a high rate, compared to other forms of personal expenditure which are formally recognized as investments.
Taxes are imposed on net income of individuals and corporations by the federal, most state, and some local governments. Citizens and residents are taxed on worldwide income and allowed a credit for foreign taxes. Income subject to tax is determined under tax accounting rules, not financial accounting principles, and includes almost all income from whatever source. Most business expenses reduce taxable income, though limits apply to a few expenses. Individuals are permitted to reduce taxable income by personal allowances and certain non-business expenses, including home mortgage interest, state and local taxes, charitable contributions, and medical and certain other expenses incurred above certain percentages of income. State rules for determining taxable income often differ from federal rules. Federal marginal tax rates vary from 10% to 37% of taxable income. State and local tax rates vary widely by jurisdiction, from 0% to 13.30% of income, and many are graduated. State taxes are generally treated as a deductible expense for federal tax computation, although the 2017 tax law imposed a $10,000 limit on the state and local tax (“SALT”) deduction, which raised the effective tax rate on medium and high earners in high tax states. Prior to the SALT deduction limit, the average deduction exceeded $10,000 in most of the Midwest, and exceeded $11,000 in most of the Northeastern United States, as well as California and Oregon. The states impacted the most by the limit were the tri-state area (NY, NJ, and CT) and California; the average SALT deduction in those states was greater than $17,000 in 2014.
Payroll taxes are imposed by the federal and all state governments. These include Social Security and Medicare taxes imposed on both employers and employees, at a combined rate of 15.3% (13.3% for 2011 and 2012). Social Security tax applies only to the first $132,900 of wages in 2019. There is an additional Medicare tax of 0.9% on wages above $200,000. Employers must withhold income taxes on wages. An unemployment tax and certain other levies apply to employers. Payroll taxes have dramatically increased as a share of federal revenue since the 1950s, while corporate income taxes have fallen as a share of revenue. (Corporate profits have not fallen as a share of GDP).
Property taxes are imposed by most local governments and many special purpose authorities based on the fair market value of property. School and other authorities are often separately governed, and impose separate taxes. Property tax is generally imposed only on realty, though some jurisdictions tax some forms of business property. Property tax rules and rates vary widely with annual median rates ranging from 0.2% to 1.9% of a property’s value depending on the state.
Sales taxes are imposed by most states and some localities on the price at retail sale of many goods and some services. Sales tax rates vary widely among jurisdictions, from 0% to 16%, and may vary within a jurisdiction based on the particular goods or services taxed. Sales tax is collected by the seller at the time of sale, or remitted as use tax by buyers of taxable items who did not pay sales tax.
The United States imposes tariffs or customs duties on the import of many types of goods from many jurisdictions. These tariffs or duties must be paid before the goods can be legally imported. Rates of duty vary from 0% to more than 20%, based on the particular goods and country of origin.
Estate and gift taxes are imposed by the federal and some state governments on the transfer of property inheritance, by will, or by lifetime donation. Similar to federal income taxes, federal estate and gift taxes are imposed on worldwide property of citizens and residents and allow a credit for foreign taxes.
|Social Security Rate for Compa-
|Social Security Rate for Emplo-
|21% + 0–12% (state / local)||10% (federal) + 0% (state) + 0%–3% (local) (federal standard deduction of 12.000 USD for most) – 51.8% in San Francisco, California (37% federal tax + 13.3% state tax + 1.5% city tax)||11.725% (highest prevailing marginal state and local sales tax rate) 0% (lowest prevailing marginal rate)||7,65%||7,65%|