Noted economist says the U.S. is ‘getting better’

LEWISBURG—According to one economist, things are ‘getting better’—but not by much.  Anirban Basu presented an economic forecast for 2014 at Thursday’s Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce meeting. He said despite modest growth, there is a long road ahead before full economic recovery.

 

“We have to do more to add value. That means producing more energy, engaging in more industrial activities, having a smarter population—a more productive population. We need more people to be involved productively in the economy. That’s what it’s going to take and we just don’t have that right now. Somehow we’ve got to change that from a cultural, economic, social, and other perspectives.”

 

Globally, Basu described the U.S. as the ‘least worst’ in terms of economic recovery. He said energy production and gas drilling have contributed to economic growth, creating jobs and reducing outsourcing of American companies. Despite an added 2.2 million jobs nationally, Basu said some of that growth has been artificially generated.

 

“Some of this has been artificial growth. Some of it has been generated by increases in money supply or federal deficit spending and even with those forms of stimuli, the U.S. economy has only been growing about 2% recently. It’s an extraordinarily soft recovery and much of it has been driven by policy-makers as opposed to economic fundamentals and that is somewhat unnerving.”

 

Basu said the value of a nation is created and with the lowest energy prices worldwide, the U.S. has become a more fashionable place to manufacture goods. By taking advantage of its natural resources, he said America could become one of the biggest worldwide oil producers, creating real growth in the U.S. economy. (Carrie Haines)

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