Jul 29, 2017

U.S. economy: sluggish but durable

"The U.S. economy acquired an exclusive label [yesterday]: Recession-free for eight full years ... the third-longest economic winning streak in American history" — AP Economics Writer Paul Wiseman.

Data: Commerce Department, Labor Department; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios
  • "Despite its longevity, ... [i]t's the weakest economic recovery since World War II."
  • Why it matters: "[T]he economy is hardly the disaster that ... Trump insists he inherited. Employers have been hiring steadily, month after month, since 2010. A majority of Americans now enjoy unusual job security."
  • But, but, but ... "[T]he expansion has been hobbled by a slow-growing labor force and by a puzzling slump in worker productivity, which is the amount of output produced, per hour worked."

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Robert Lighthizer tells Mexico: USMCA "attachés" are not "labor inspectors"

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Photo: Rodrigo Arangua/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a letter to a top Mexican trade negotiator Monday that the full-time diplomats, or attachés, designated to uphold labor standards in the version of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) sent to Congress are not "labor inspectors."

Why it matters: Mexico’s Undersecretary for North America Jesús Seade flew to Washington on Sunday to confront U.S. officials over the inclusion of language that would appoint attachés to implement labor reform in Mexico, accusing the Trump administration of blindsiding them. The intervention has thrown a wrench in the House's tentative plan to vote on the North American trade deal on Thursday.

Go deeperArrowDec 16, 2019

Eurasia Group's top geopolitical, economic risks in 2020

Trump and China's President Xi Jinping in 2017. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Economic and geopolitical trends are both cycling downward, Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer and Chairman Cliff Kupchan write in their '"Top Risks 2020" report, out today.

The big picture: "Globalization is key," the authors write. The global economy is steadily fragmenting into two systems as the U.S. and China decouple and weaponize global trade and supply chains, ultimately creating a "split personality" globalization.

Go deeperArrowJan 6, 2020

When war pays dividends

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

War. What is it good for? The stock market, it turns out.

The big picture: Don't pay too much attention to short-term stock-market gyrations. When you take a step back, it looks like war tends to be good — not bad — for American stocks.

Go deeperArrowJan 9, 2020