News / Economy

World Bank: US Economic Growth Speeding Up

World Bank: US Economic Growth Speeding Upi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jim Randle
January 15, 2014
Many economists say U. S. growth will speed up a bit over the next year. Surging energy production is cutting costs and spurring U. S. economic growth, but rising interest rates are acting as brakes on expansion. VOA’s Jim Randle reports.
TEXT SIZE - +
Many economists say U. S. growth will speed up a bit over the next year, which will likely make it easier for other nations to sell their products in the world’s biggest economy.  Surging energy production is cutting costs and spurring U. S. economic growth, but rising interest rates are acting as brakes on expansion. 

Some shops are busier, because for the first time in five years, the United States and other wealthy nations are shaking off the recession and making a larger contribution to global growth.
 
That is the word from a new World Bank report, which also says growth will be helped by fewer cuts in government spending over the next year.   

The bank’s Manager of Global Macroeconomics is Andrew Burns.  

“We are looking at a significant acceleration in the U. S. [economic growth] from about 1.8 percent last year to 2.8 percent this year," said Burns.

Key sectors of the U. S. economy, like housing, are strongly influenced by interest rates.  Lower rates make it easier for families to borrow the money to buy homes and businesses to get the equipment they need to expand.

With that in mind, the U.S. central bank has been working hard to stimulate the economy by cutting interest rates.  Part of that effort involves buying tens of billions of dollars of securities each month, a program that is being reduced or “tapered.”  

If the stimulus continues for too long, it might spark inflation, which could hurt the economy.

Bankrate.com analyst Greg McBride says a slow increase in interest rates will not hurt, if the economy is expanding at the time.

"The likelihood is that long-term interest rates will probably grind slowly higher throughout 2014, while short-term interest rates remain unchanged," said McBride.

A surge in U.S. energy production will help overcome the impact of rising interest rates.  Oil industry experts say growing use of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” has sharply increased U. S. production of oil and natural gas.

The head of the American Petroleum Institute Jack Gerard,  says the larger supply of natural gas means lower energy prices, and a boost for American manufacturers.  

“If you want to put people to work, if you want to generate revenue, now is the time.  We can do it through the energy equation," said Gerard.

The wider use of fracking is boosting U.S. oil production, cutting the cost of crude oil imports, and leaving consumers with more money to spend on other goods and services.

Critics say burning more fossil fuels may increase climate change and voice concerns about the impact of fracking on the environment and public health.  

Industry spokesmen say the practice is safe, but opponents say some gas wells that use fracking technology have polluted nearby water wells, and they urge more scientific study.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7217
JPY
USD
102.17
GBP
USD
0.5949
CAD
USD
1.1009
INR
USD
60.326

Rates may not be current.