U.S. economic experts have been analyzing the statistics for the first quarter of 2012. Stephen Roussin, a financial manager with over 25 years of experience, answered questions about the financial outlook for the United States.
Question: Is the economy growing or contracting? Is the recession over?
Stephen Roussin: The manufacturing sector, which makes up 12% of the U.S. economy, has been doing well. However, manufacturers warn that both China and the European Union are on the verge of economic crisis, which would lead to lower demand for U.S. products. Still, for the time being manufacturing looks good and factories are beginning to put people back to work.
Question: What about other sectors of the economy?
Stephen Roussin: That’s where things get a bit messier. The service sector is stagnant. That’s a problem, because before the recession the service sector was one of the fastest-growing segments of our economy. While consumers have begun to spend on durable goods again, they’re still not spending money on services. Construction also remains stagnant. So what we’ve got is a weak recovery which depends on continued stability in China and Europe.
In the second part of this article, Stephen Roussin will discuss why the current recovery has been so sluggish.