Five years after the beginning of the Great Recession, the US economy is beginning to show improvements also in the job market. Economists forecast an acceptable rate of GDP growth coupled with a slow reduction in the rate of unemployment this year. Compare this with Europe, which is due to see the third contraction in five years, and where unemployment continues to edge upwards. There are many reasons why the US is doing so much better than the Europeans.
First of all, the US authorities were quick to admit the problems and aggressive in trying to solve it. Also, they have a central government and a central bank that control fiscal and monetary policies and that don’t need to find a consensus among economies that travel at different speeds and sometimes different directions. In addition, the US are on their way to becoming hydrocarbon exporters, thanks to the clever exploitation of shale gas.
Today, US ports and terminals that were equipped to gasify natural gas imported from abroad are reconverting to liquefy natural gas produced in the US for foreign markets where the price of natural gas trades at a multiple of US market prices. Let us hope that US politics will not imitate Europe’s dysfunctionality with the long and boring battle over the debt ceiling and various sequester.