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CD: Texts available on CD version.Texts available in multiple languages.
Cover Page: Outline of U.S. Economy

· Department of Commerce
Department of Commerce. Bureau of Economic Analysis
· U.S. Congress: Joint Economic Committee
· Department of State/ IIP: Economics & Trade/ Introduction
· National Bureau of Economic Research
An Outline of the American Economy | The U.S. Economy: A Brief History
Portrait of the USA: The Business of America CD

Original Documents
· Beige Book 2008: Current Economic Conditions
· Economic Report of the President 2008 | The Year in Review & the Years Ahead
· State of Economy 2007


· Census Bureau: Economic Programs | Business and Industry
· Department of Labor: Spotlight on Statistics
· Economic Indicators
· Economic Report of the President 2008 | Improving Economic Statistics
· Economic Statistics Briefing Room
· Overview of the Economy
· Selected Economic Characteristics 2006
Statistical Abstract 2008
U.S. Economy and the Federal Budget


When the United States sneezes, an economists' proverb says, the rest of the world catches a cold.

Between 1995 and 2005, the United States accounted directly for one-third of global economic expansion, according to the nonprofit Council on Competitiveness. Between 1983 and 2004, soaring U.S. imports added nearly 20 percent of the increase of the world's exports. "Developing countries accounted for an increasing share of U.S. exports, 32.8 percent in 1985 versus 47.0 percent in 2006," a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report says. "Developing countries accounted for 34.5 percent of U.S. imports in 1985 and 54.7 percent ... in 2006."

After a mild recession in March-November 2001, the U.S. economy resumed expanding, an average 2.9 percent during 2002-2006, while price inflation, unemployment, and interest rates remained relatively low. By various measures the United States remains the world's most productive, competitive, and influential large economy. Yet more and more the U.S. economy is itself influenced by dynamic economies overseas. And it faces challenges both at home and abroad.

The United States remains a "market economy." Americans continue to believe that an economy generally operates best when decisions about what to produce and what prices to charge for goods are made through the give-and-take of millions of independent buyers and sellers, not by government or by powerful private interests.

Besides believing that free markets promote economic efficiency, Americans see them as a way of promoting their political values as well -- especially, their commitment to individual freedom and political pluralism and their opposition to undue concentrations of power. The American belief in "free enterprise" has not precluded a major role for government, however. Americans at times have looked to government to break up or regulate companies that appeared to be developing so much power that they could defy market forces. They have relied on government to address matters the private economy overlooks, from education to protecting the environment. And despite their advocacy of market principles, they have used government at times to nurture new industries, and at times even to protect American companies from competition.

(Parts of the following introduction were taken from the U.S. Department of State publication, USA Economy in Brief.)


For High School Students
· Academy of Achievement: Museum of Living History
Factmonster: Largest U.S. Businesses
· Factmonster: Leading Industries
· Test Your Own Economic Literacy

Teacher Resources
· How Is Our Economy Doing?
Interpreting Economic Indicators
· Integrating Economics Topics
· National Council on Economic Education: Resources
· Pencil Economics


Link Lists
· American University Library: Economics
· Bizjournals - American City Business Journals
· The Internet Public Library: Business & Economics

Texts are abridged from U.S. State Department IIP publications and other U.S. government materials.
Any reference obtained from this server to a specific commercial product, process, or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the United States Government of the product, process, or service, or its producer or provider. The views and opinions expressed in any referenced document do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government.
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Updated:May 2008