Real GDP is projected to grow by 1.6% in 2023 and 1.0% in 2024. Growth in private consumption and investment is expected to moderate in response to the tightening in monetary and financial conditions and as savings are further depleted. As demand slows, employment is expected to fall and the unemployment rate is projected to gradually rise towards 4½ per cent in 2024. With labour market tightness abating, wage growth is expected to moderate further, along with inflationary pressures.
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The United States economy rebounded strongly from the depths of the pandemic recession, aided by a large and enduring government policy response. However, Russia’s war against Ukraine and strong inflationary pressures have dampened the economic outlook. The administration is reinforcing public welfare through packages that invest in infrastructure and the climate transition, but an ageing population means fiscal pressures are on the horizon. In response, further efforts should focus on both broadening the tax base and improving public spending efficiency, particularly in the areas of health and infrastructure. A persistent long-term challenge has been the hollowing out of the middle class, which has experienced stagnating incomes and rising costs of living. Two pressing policy challenges for this group relate to improving childcare and the climate transition. Expanding public investment in childcare can improve its affordability for the middle class and benefit female labour force participation. In addition, the impact on the middle class of policies to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 should be taken into account. An important aspect will be ensuring that active labour market policies and place-based policies are in place to tackle labour market disruptions as jobs reallocate from high-carbon to low-carbon activities.
The pandemic risks exacerbating the existing inequalities among social, ethnic and racial groups. The government cushioned the impact on vulnerable households, especially by providing cash transfers and expanding unemployment benefits. Nonetheless, a key policy priority should be to further improve the opportunities for the most vulnerable. Enhancing education, training and green infrastructure investment would contribute to more sustainable, resilient and equitable growth.
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2021 Structural Reform Priorities