Nick Beams – The rot at the heart of the American economy

Amid continued economic stagnation in Europe, with euro zone output still below the level of 2007, and decelerating growth in China and the so-called emerging markets, the United States is sometimes held up as a “bright spot” in the global capitalist economy.

But more than six years since the official trough of the Great Recession in the second quarter of 2009, the US economy is anything but on the road to a recovery, as the latest data from the Commerce Department make clear.

The department found that the economy had grown at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in the second quarter of 2015 and revised its figures for the first quarter from a contraction of 0.2 percent to an expansion of 0.6 percent. But the seemingly better result for the first quarter was overshadowed by further data revisions showing that the shock waves from the financial crisis of 2008 had had an even more significant impact than previously thought.

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