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Is the Recovery Sustainable?

  • Dimitri B. Papadimitriou
  • Greg Hannsgen
  • Gennaro Zezza

Fiscal austerity is now a worldwide phenomenon, and the global growth slowdown is highly unfavorable for policymakers at the national level. According to our Macro Modeling Team's baseline forecast, fears of prolonged stagnation and a moribund employment market are well justified. Assuming no change in the value of the dollar or interest rates, and deficit levels consistent with the Congressional Budget Office's most recent "no-change" scenario, growth will remain very weak through 2016 and unemployment will exceed 9 percent. In an alternate scenario, the authors simulate the effect of new austerity measures that are commensurate with the implementation of large federal budget cuts. Here, growth falls to 0.06 percent in the second quarter of 2014 before leveling off at approximately 1 percent and unemployment rises to 10.7 percent by the end of 2016. In their fiscal stimulus scenario, real GDP growth increases very quickly, unemployment declines to 7.2 percent, and the US current account balance reaches 1.9 percent by the end of 2016—with a debt-to-GDP ratio that, at 97.4 percent, is only slightly higher than in the baseline scenario. An export-led growth strategy may accomplish little more than drawing a small number of scarce customers away from other exporting nations, and the authors expect no net contribution to aggregate demand growth from the financial sector. A further fiscal stimulus is clearly in order, they say, but an ill-timed round of fiscal austerity could result in a perilous situation for Washington.

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Paper provided by Levy Economics Institute in its series Economics Strategic Analysis Archive with number sa_dec_11.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:lev:levysa:sa_dec_11
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.levyinstitute.org

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  1. Rania Antonopoulos & Kijong Kim & Tom Masterson & Ajit Zacharias, 2010. "Investing in Care: A Strategy for Effective and Equitable Job Creation," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_610, Levy Economics Institute.
  2. repec:cbo:report:41586 is not listed on IDEAS
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