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World > North America > United States > Economy (Facts)

United States - Economy (Facts)
Economy - overview: The US has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $43,500. In this market-oriented economy, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace. US business firms enjoy greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan in decisions to expand capital plant, to lay off surplus workers, and to develop new products. At the same time, they face higher barriers to enter their rivals' home markets than foreign firms face entering US markets. US firms are at or near the forefront in technological advances, especially in computers and in medical, aerospace, and military equipment; their advantage has narrowed since the end of World War II. The onrush of technology largely explains the gradual development of a 'two-tier labor market' in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits. Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households. The response to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 showed the remarkable resilience of the economy. The war in March-April 2003 between a US-led coalition and Iraq, and the subsequent occupation of Iraq, required major shifts in national resources to the military. The rise in GDP in 2004-06 was undergirded by substantial gains in labor productivity. Hurricane Katrina caused extensive damage in the Gulf Coast region in August 2005, but had a small impact on overall GDP growth for the year. Soaring oil prices in 2005 and 2006 threatened inflation and unemployment, yet the economy continued to grow through year-end 2006. Imported oil accounts for about two-thirds of US consumption. Long-term problems include inadequate investment in economic infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, sizable trade and budget deficits, and stagnation of family income in the lower economic groups. The merchandise trade deficit reached a record $750 billion in 2006.
GDP - real growth rate: 3.2% (2006 est.)
GDP (purchasing power parity): $13.13 trillion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $13.21 trillion (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $44,000 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 0.9%
industry: 20.4%
services: 78.6% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line: 12% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.8%
highest 10%: 30.5% (1997)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.5% (2006 est.)
Labor force: 151.4 million (includes unemployed) (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: farming, forestry, and fishing 0.7%, manufacturing, extraction, transportation, and crafts 22.9%, managerial, professional, and technical 34.9%, sales and office 25%, other services 16.5%
note: figures exclude the unemployed (2006)
Unemployment rate: 4.8% (2006 est.)
Budget: revenues: $2.409 trillion
expenditures: $2.66 trillion; including capital expenditures of NA (2006 est.)
Industries: leading industrial power in the world, highly diversified and technologically advanced; petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, aerospace, telecommunications, chemicals, electronics, food processing, consumer goods, lumber, mining
Industrial production growth rate: 4.2% (2006 est.)
Electricity - production: 3.979 trillion kWh (2004)
Electricity - consumption: 3.717 trillion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports: 22.9 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports: 34.21 billion kWh (2004)
Oil - production: 7.61 million bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption: 20.73 million bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports: 1.048 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports: 13.15 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves: 21.37 billion bbl (1 January 2005)
Natural gas - production: 531.1 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 24.18 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 120.6 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products: wheat, corn, other grains, fruits, vegetables, cotton; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish; forest products
Exports: $1.024 trillion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities: agricultural products (soybeans, fruit, corn) 9.2%, industrial supplies (organic chemicals) 26.8%, capital goods (transistors, aircraft, motor vehicle parts, computers, telecommunications equipment) 49.0%, consumer goods (automobiles, medicines) 15.0% (2003)
Exports - partners: Canada 22.2%, Mexico 12.9%, Japan 5.8%, China 5.3%, UK 4.4% (2006)
Imports: $1.869 trillion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities: agricultural products 4.9%, industrial supplies 32.9% (crude oil 8.2%), capital goods 30.4% (computers, telecommunications equipment, motor vehicle parts, office machines, electric power machinery), consumer goods 31.8% (automobiles, clothing, medicines, furniture, toys) (2003)
Imports - partners: Canada 16%, China 15.9%, Mexico 10.4%, Japan 7.9%, Germany 4.8% (2006)
Debt - external: $10.04 trillion (30 June 2006 est.)
Currency: US Dollar (USD)

Current US Dollar Exchange Rates
Historical US Dollar Exchange Rates
Chart US Dollar Exchange Rates
Currency code: USD
Exchange rates: British pounds per US dollar - 0.5418 (2006), 0.5500 (2005), 0.5462 (2004), 0.6125 (2003), 0.6672 (2002)
: Canadian dollars per US dollar - 1.1334 (2006), 1.2118 (2005), 1.3010 (2004), 1.4011 (2003), 1.5693 (2002)
: Japanese yen per US dollar - 116.18 (2006) 110.22 (2005), 108.19 (2004), 115.93 (2003), 125.39 (2002)
: euros per US dollar - .7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.8860 (2003), 1.0626 (2002)
: Chinese yuan per US dollar - 7.97 (2006), 8.1943 (2005), 8.2768 (2004), 8.2770 (2003), 8.2770 (2002)
Fiscal year: 1 October - 30 September


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - US Dollar Exchange Rates



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
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Economy
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Military
Climate
Current Time
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US Dollar Exchange Rates







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