On the eve of the Federal Reserve’s meeting, here’s what you need to know about the state of the U.S. economy
Here’s a closer look at the state of the U.S. economy from February to August.
The Fed is expected to continue its trend of very gradual hikes in interest rates on Wednesday. The central bank raised rates by 0.25 percent in March and another 0.25 percent in June. It’s widely expected to again raise rates by 0.25 percent Wednesday, which would take rates to 2.25 percent. It’s the Fed’s ninth hike since it began raising rates in December 2015.
Here are 12 charts that offer an understanding of the economy since the recession, including how unemployment has fallen and how the economy’s rate of economic growth has decreased.
The overall unemployment rate has fallen to 4.2 percent, which is historically low, as the economy continues to add jobs.
The stock market has risen by 25 percent since the low in February 2017. The economy has added more than 2 million jobs this year and is expected to post its longest stretch of economic growth since 2009.
The U.S. economy has generally been growing faster than the rest of the world for the past several years, but it has slowed in recent months. The economy’s rate of growth is slowing despite the continued growth in employment.
More Americans have jobs today than at any time since 1973.
Inflation has remained low, averaging 1.7 percent this year.
The economy is taking in less cash than before, however. The personal consumption expenditures index has dropped, but as an output (sales and production) index, so that it’s risen at a faster rate than the consumer price index.
The median income has dropped in recent years.