Economic Report of the President
By Isaac Cohen*
The White House Council of Economic Advisers, last week, released the annual 2015 Economic Report of the President which describes the accelerating recovery of the US economy.
From the perspective of the economy as a whole, or its macroeconomic performance, the Report highlights the pickup in the speed of the recovery in terms of both output and employment. In 2013 and 2014 output growth reached 2.8 percent, by contrast to 2.1 percent during the previous three years. In the last two years, job creation reached levels unseen since 1999, with the unemployment rate falling from 10 percent in October 2009, to 5.6 percent last December.
However, the Report recognizes that the benefits of the recovery have not been widely distributed. Therefore, it focuses on income inequality and on measures to increase middle class incomes, labor force participation and productivity.
The set of measures proposed includes tax reform, which may be acceptable to the Republican Party controlled legislature. Meanwhile, the negotiation of free trade agreements supported by Republicans, finds strong opposition among prominent legislators from the President’s own Democratic Party.
Still other measures, such as immigration reform, increasing the minimum wage and expenditure in education, are less feasible because they generate strong opposition from the Republican Party.
*International analyst and consultant. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio. Former Director, UNECLAC.