The US economy has rebounded after a winter freeze-over, with firms adding more than 200,000 jobs a month, and consumer confidence at a post-recession high leading people to spend more. The American economy is forecast to expand by close to 3% in the second quarter after a 0.2% decline in the first three months of the year, according to a MarketWatch survey of economists. Nonetheless, policymakers are keeping close tabs on the Greek debt crisis and plunging Chinese stock market, ahead of a still-likely interest-rate increase by the Federal Reserve later this year – its first since 2006.
In addition, while job openings are at a record high, companies are not filling them nearly as quickly, and the unemployment rate is 10.5% if all the people who want a full-time job but can’t find one are included rather than the official 5.3%. And pay raises are climbing very slowly, thus explaining why the economy, largely driven by consumer spending, is not as robust as it should be six years after the great financial crisis.