Posted December 28, 2015

U.S. economy not normal despite steady progress in 2015

Consumers still aren't spending at precession levels. 

The U.S. economy returned closer to normalcy in 2015 than any time since the Great Recession ended in mid-2009. But “normal” it is not.

Consumer spending, while much improved, is still running a bit below precession levels. Ditto for consumer confidence.

Businesses, for their part, are investing at a slower clip, devoting more free cash to stock buybacks and dividend payments — or looking to move headquarters overseas where tax rates are lower. So-called corporate inversions have become all the rage lately.

Meanwhile, governments at all levels have had to rein in spending.

The result: It took six years for the unemployment rate to return close to where it was in 2006 — the year before the recession struck.

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Source: MarketWatch