Posted by: bkivey | 22 January 2012

The U.S. Economic Index

During national elections, it’s not uncommon for politicians to ask the electorate “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” For a lot of Americans, the answer this year is a resounding NO! With the recent release of the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, and the disappointing results  in it, I thought I’d look at the change in some economic indicators between 2008 and 2012.

I looked at information from multiple sources, and found that even historical data has some variations. The numbers for 2008 from multiple sources more or less agree, so I have a reasonable degree of confidence in them. Numbers for 2012 are either estimates, or data from 2011. So, in Harper’s Index style, here is my version of the US Economic Index.

 

2012 rank of US in the Index of Economic Freedom

 

10

Rank in 2008

 

5

Total score for 2012

 

76

Score for 2008

 

81

Economy rating for 2012

 

Mostly Free

For 2008

 

Free

Highest US economic freedom rank since 1995

 

4

Rank of Hong Kong since 1995

 

1

Rank of Singapore since 1995

 

2

Estimated US GDP for 2008

 

$13.6 trillion

US GDP for 2012

 

$15.1 trillion

Total national debt at end of FY2008

 

$9.3 trillion

National debt as of January 2012

 

$15.2 trillion

Debt-to-GDP ratio FY2008

 

68%

As of January 2012

 

100%

Rank of US in percentage of debt-to-GDP

 

10

US credit rating in 2008

 

AAA

In 2012

 

AA+

Federal government revenue FY2008

 

$2.5 trillion

Estimated revenue for FY2012

 

$2.6 trillion

Federal budget FY2008

 

$3.0 trillion

FY2012

 

$3.7 trillion

Economic rank of US Federal government by revenue

 

6

Federal budget deficit FY2008

 

$455 billion

Budget deficit for FY2012

 

$1.3 trillion

Official unemployment rate for 2008

 

5.8%

As of December 2011

 

8.5%

Number of food stamp participants in 2008

 

27 million

Number of participants as of December 2011

 

46 million

Percentage of population on food stamps in 2008

 

9.2

Percentage as of December 2011

 

14.7
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