An overview of the US economy in 2014

The United States is showing signs of recovery after the Great Recession. A recession that not only had a hugely devastating economic impact in the US, but also the entire world.

However, despite improvements in many aspects of the economy, there are still lingering effects of the financial crisis that millions of American continue to face.

This article analyzes the economic position of the country in 2014, highlights the areas it has improved in since late 2009, and attempts to provide a general picture of the economy.


In 2009 the unemployment rate in the US reached a high of approximately 10%. This has improved vastly, with a June 2014 statistic released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealing that unemployment is at 6.2 percent, which is comparable to the unemployment rate in mid-to-late 2008.

Below is a chart from the Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey, which reveals the unemployment rate for Americans aged 16 years and over since 2004:

Unemployment in the US

Gross Domestic Product

In the first quarter of 2014 real GDP decreased by 2.1%. In the second quarter real GDP increased by 4.0%. Therefore, there has been no¬†‘consistent growth’ in the country’s¬†economic output this year so far. The second quarter growth was mainly fueled by an increase in exports, good performance in residential fixed investments, and government spending.

The chart below shows how much the US GDP has changed (on a quarterly basis) since 2010.

It is important to note that since late 2010 the average rate of real GDP growth (on a quarterly basis) is approximately 2%.

US GDP Growth

Personal Income

Personal income has been steadily increasing and for the first time in three years there have been two consecutive quarters of income above $14,400.

Personal income for the first quarter of 2014 was $14,488.3 and for the second quarter it was $14,696.3.

This is promising as personal income is also a major driver of consumer spending, household borrowing and property prices.

Personal Income in the US