The New York City skyline in the United States

United States Economy

United States economic overview

Economic powerhouse:

The United States has a diverse, highly developed and private-sector-led economy, which is the largest in the world in nominal GDP terms and is characterized by high levels of productivity, technological innovation, and competitiveness. Other key economic strengths include a flexible labor market, relatively solid demographics compared to other rich nations, and the use of the dollar—the world's reserve currency. U.S. economic data is strong: In the decade to 2022, the United States boasted real GDP growth of 2.1%, well above the G7 average of 1.7%. However, the U.S. also has its weaknesses. Income inequality is the highest among its peers, politics and society at large are bitterly polarized, and the fiscal position is weak.

A bustling business environment:

The country boasts many of the world's largest and most successful corporations. The technology sector, centered in places like Silicon Valley, has played a pivotal role in driving innovation and global competitiveness. In recent decades, the United States has seen a shift towards a service-based economy, benefitting from a vast domestic consumer base. Services, such as finance, healthcare, education, and entertainment, now account for a substantial portion of GDP and employment.

Trade hub:

International trade is a cornerstone of the U.S. economy, with the nation being both a major importer and exporter of goods and services. That said, trade policy has turned more protectionist in recent years, with the country pulling out of talks to join the CPTPP trade agreement and locked in a trade and technology war with China.

Increasing government intervention:

Under President Biden, the country has implemented a more state-led approach to economic management that focuses on boosting domestic manufacturing and ensuring the security of supply chains. Initiatives have included green-energy subsidies and tax breaks, fiscal incentives for semiconductor production, and domestic content requirements for government procurement.


Income inequality, volatile politics and a mounting fiscal burden remain economic drags. Additionally, despite its active role in trade, the U.S. has maintained a trade deficit for several decades. Moreover, climate change, healthcare costs, and the aging population pose long-term economic concerns.

U.S. economic outlook:

When looking at the United States' economic forecasts, our analysts expect the nation's outperformance relative to other major economies to continue over our forecast horizon. Economic diversification provides stability and resilience, helping the economy weather challenges such as economic downturns and global crises.

The United States' economy in numbers:

Nominal GDP of USD 25,744 billion in 2022.

GDP per capita of USD 77,187 compared to the global average of USD 10,589.

Average real GDP growth of 2.3% over the last decade.

Share of the region's population
Share of the region's GDP

Economic structure:

In 2020, services accounted for 81% of overall GDP, manufacturing 11%, other industrial activity 7%, and agriculture 1%. Looking at GDP by expenditure, private consumption accounted for 67% of GDP in 2020, government consumption 15%, fixed investment 21%, and net exports -3%.

GDP by economic sector
GDP by type of expenditure

International trade:

In 2021, manufactured products made up 58% of total merchandise exports, mineral fuels 16%, food 11%, ores and metals 4% and agricultural raw materials 2%, with other categories accounting for 9% of the total. In the same period, manufactured products made up 77% of total merchandise imports, mineral fuels 8%, food 7%, ores and metals 3% and agricultural raw materials 1%, with other goods accounting for 4% of the total. Total exports were worth USD 2,090 billion in 2022, while total imports were USD 3,273 billion.

Key exports
Key imports
Key export partners
Key import partners

Economic growth:

The economy recorded average annual growth of 2.3% in the decade to 2022. To read more about GDP growth in the U.S., go to our dedicated page.

Fiscal policy:

The U.S. fiscal deficit averaged 5.7% of GDP in the decade to 2023. Find out more on our dedicated page.


The unemployment rate averaged 5.5% in the decade to 2022. For more information on U.S. unemployment click here.


Inflation averaged 2.4% in the decade to 2022. Go to our U.S. inflation page for extra insight. Go to our United States inflation page for extra insight.

Monetary Policy:

The U.S. monetary policy rate ended 2022 at 4.50%, up from 0.25% a decade earlier. See our U.S. monetary policy page for additional details. See our United States monetary policy page for additional details.

Exchange Rate:

From end-2012 to end-2022 the US dollar strengthened by 29.7% vs a basket of major currencies. For more info on the US dollar, click here.
GDP growth smashed market expectations in Q4, rising 3.3% in seasonally adjusted annualized terms (Q3 2023: 4.9%). The Q4 reading was likely by far the strongest in the G7 and meant that the economy expanded 2.5% in annual terms over 2023 as a whole, above the prior decade’s average of 2.3%. Resilient household spending and exports drove Q4’s reading, while government spending and fixed investment lost notable steam. In particular, household spending was buoyed by solid employment growth and declining inflation, while stronger sales of oil and financial services drove exports. Turning to Q1 2024, the economy is forecast to slow in sequential terms but should continue to outperform the rest of the G7. Available data is upbeat: Private-sector business conditions improved at a faster pace in January, according to PMI data, with better readings in both the manufacturing and services sectors.
Projections out to 2033.

56 indicators covered including both annual and quarterly frequencies.

Consensus Forecasts based on a panel of 70 expert analysts.

Want to get insight on the economic outlook for United States in the coming years? FocusEconomics collects projections out to 2033 on 56 economic indicators for United States from a panel of 70 analysts at the leading national, regional and global forecast institutions. These projections are then validated by our in-house team of economists and data analysts, and averaged to provide one Consensus Forecast you can rely on for each indicator. This means you avoid the risk of relying on out of date, biased or outlier forecasts. Our Consensus Forecasts can be visualized in whichever way best suits your needs, including via interactive online dashboards , direct data delivery and executive-style reports which combine analysts' projections with timely written analysis from our in-house team of economists on the latest developments in the United States economy. To download a sample report on the United States' economy, click here . To get in touch with our team for more information, fill in the form at the bottom of this page .

United States Economic Data

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Population (million) 327 329 331 332 334
GDP (USD bn) 20,657 21,521 21,323 23,594 25,744
GDP per capita (USD) 63,165 65,505 64,370 70,999 77,187
Economic Growth (Nominal GDP, ann. var. %) 5.3 4.2 -0.9 10.7 9.1
Economic Growth (GDP, ann. var. %) 3.0 2.5 -2.2 5.8 1.9
Domestic Demand (ann. var. %) 3.1 2.5 -1.9 6.9 2.3
Private Consumption (ann. var. %) 2.7 2.0 -2.5 8.4 2.5
Government Consumption (ann. var. %) 2.0 3.9 3.2 -0.3 -0.9
Residential Investment (ann. var. %) -0.7 -0.9 7.2 10.7 -9.0
Non-Residential Fixed Investment (ann. var. %) 6.9 3.7 -4.7 5.9 5.2
Fixed Investment (ann. var. %) 5.1 2.7 -2.1 7.1 1.3
Exports (G&S, ann. var. %) 2.9 0.5 -13.1 6.3 7.0
Imports (G&S, ann. var. %) 4.0 1.2 -9.0 14.5 8.6
Industrial Production (ann. var. %) 3.2 -0.7 -7.2 4.4 3.4
Retail Sales (ann. var. %) 4.3 3.1 0.9 18.2 9.7
Home Prices Index (ann. var. %) 5.7 2.4 5.5 16.9 14.9
Disposable Income (ann. var. %) 3.6 3.1 6.4 3.2 -6.0
Wages (ann. var. %) 3.0 3.3 4.9 4.3 5.4
Unemployment (% of active population, eop) 3.9 3.6 6.7 3.9 3.5
Unemployment (% of active population, aop) 3.9 3.7 8.1 5.4 3.6
Fiscal Balance (Federal, % of GDP) -3.8 -4.6 -14.7 -12.1 -5.4
Public Debt (% of GDP) 106 108 130 126 122
Inflation (CPI, ann. var. %, eop) 1.9 2.3 1.4 7.0 6.5
Inflation (CPI, ann. var. %, aop) 2.4 1.8 1.2 4.7 8.0
Inflation (Core, ann. var. %, aop) 2.1 2.2 1.7 3.6 6.2
Inflation (PPI, ann. var. %, aop) 2.9 1.7 0.2 7.0 9.5
Federal Funds Target Rate (%, eop) 2.50 1.75 0.25 0.25 4.50
Secured Overnight Financing Rate (%, eop) 3.00 1.55 0.07 0.05 4.30
10-Year Bond Yield (%, eop) 2.69 1.92 0.93 1.52 3.88
Exchange Rate (USD per EUR, eop) 1.14 1.12 1.22 1.14 1.07
Exchange Rate (USD per EUR, aop) 1.18 1.12 1.14 1.18 1.05
Current Account Balance (USD bn) -440 -442 -597 -831 -972
Current Account Balance (% of GDP) -2.1 -2.1 -2.8 -3.5 -3.8
Merchandise Trade Balance (USD bn) -879 -857 -913 -1,084 -1,183
Merchandise Exports (USD bn) 1,677 1,655 1,434 1,766 2,090
Merchandise Imports (USD bn) 2,556 2,512 2,347 2,849 3,273
Merchandise Exports (ann. var. %) 7.7 -1.3 -13.4 23.2 18.4
Merchandise Imports (ann. var. %) 8.5 -1.7 -6.6 21.4 14.9
Foreign Direct Investment (USD bn) 203 243 96 392 345


  1. Why is the U.S. economy so strong?

  2. Primarily due to institutional stability, abundant natural resources, a culture of innovation, and a highly skilled workforce. The U.S. dollar's role as the world's reserve currency also attracts global investment and facilitates government borrowing. Furthermore, the U.S. has highly developed and flexible financial markets, world-leading technology companies, and top-tier universities.

  3. What are the U.S.' key economic weaknesses?

  4. Yawning income inequality risks social and economic instability. Moreover, growing public debt could limit fiscal options. Additionally, the U.S. has aging infrastructure—hence the USD 1 trillion infrastructure bill approved in 2021. Healthcare is costly and inefficient, and there is a mismatch between workers' skills and those demanded by employers.

  5. Will China's economy overtake the U.S. economy?

  6. Our analysts expect China's economy to become larger than the U.S. economy in nominal GDP terms in the 2030s, though China's economy is already the largest when adjusting for the cost of living. However, there are multiple downside risks to China's economy which could stop it from overtaking the U.S.

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