The OECD released its Economic Survey of the United States 2022 which takes a broad look at macroeconomic challenges in the United States at a time when growth continues to face headwinds, monetary policy continues to tighten in response to inflationary pressures, and global uncertainty looms. The survey provides a positive assessment of the management of the COVID-19 pandemic and presents prospects for mitigating climate change while also ensuring a stable and prosperous future for the American middle class.
While the darkest days are behind us and economic recovery in the United States has been strong, the report addresses some of the persistent challenges that remain for middle-class Americans. “Like many countries, the United States is dealing with the negative impact of lower global growth and higher inflation caused by Russia’s unprovoked, unjustifiable, and illegal war of aggression against Ukraine, while also still working through some of the economic implications of the pandemic,” OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann said while presenting the Survey in Washington. The OECD anticipates a U.S. GDP growth of 1.5% in 2022 and 0.5% in 2023.
The survey includes a special chapter taking an in-depth look at the American middle class, analyzing the pressures and growing risks faced by this group which has traditionally been a main driver of economic growth and a pillar of social stability. The OECD report recommends increasing public funding for childcare to make it more affordable for middle-class families and increase female involvement in the workforce. In addition, it pushes for further consideration on how measures to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 will affect the middle class; the report calls for ensuring that place-based regulations and active labor market policies are in place to address labor market disruptions caused by the reallocation of jobs from high-carbon to low-carbon activity.
U.S. Ambassador to the OECD Jack Markell praised the launch of the survey, declaring, “the United States values these country surveys and the OECD peer review process. It is a rare opportunity for a government like ours to step back and reflect on major trends in our economy with frank and honest feedback from our most likeminded and trusted peers […] The recommendations here are not just practical suggestions, but also catalysts for discussion and collaboration across the many participants that shape our country’s economic future.”
The report was made public at a joint press conference by Secretary-General Mathias Cormann, White House Council of Economic Advisors Chair Cecilia Rouse, acting chief economist Santos Pereira and U.S. Ambassador to the OECD Jack Markell.
To read the report: United States Economic Snapshot – OECD