Reviews key economic indicators and raises concerns about the future of U.S. productivity and competitiveness after the Great Recession.

This brief focused on the future of U.S. productivity and competitiveness after the 2007 Great Recession. It determined the concerns for future economic growth based on the slow progress in growth of productivity, business investment, and high-tech goods trade. These factors contributed to the competitiveness of the U.S. and policymakers must be able to make the necessary investments in order to revive both productivity and competitiveness. (Abstractor: Website Staff)

Full publication title: Making the Right Investments Now Is Key to Future Productivity: Quarterly U.S. Productivity and Innovation Snapshot

Major Findings & Recommendations

• “Productivity growth slowed sharply in the final quarter of 2011 and has increased at only a modest pace since the start of the current business cycle in December 2007. Further widening of the U.S. high-tech trade deficit signals that the U.S. economy’s competitive edge needs resharpening” (p.1). • “Business investment slowed in the three months through December 2011 and remains historically low. Corporations are not directing their strong profits to productivity-enhancing activities but rather are holding cash or buying back their own stock to prop up the share price” (p.1). • “Private venture capital investors remain reluctant to fund early-stage innovative business ideas” (p.1). • “The U.S. economy will not regain its productivity and competitive edge on its own. Policymakers must refocus their sights on ensuring America makes the necessary investments today in education, science, and research and development that play an essential role in driving private-sector innovation and productivity to ensure long-term growth and prosperity for the U.S. economy” (p.1). (Abstractor: Author)