Americans spend a lot of time talking about how weak the economy is here. And while things are certainly not booming, it’s all relative. This chart from Reuters will really put things in perspective for you. Every single country listed below has a higher unemployment rate than the USA. And no by a small margin. The latest reading of 8.2% in the USA (very high by any measure) is still substantially lower than all but Germany.
In the case of Spain, Greece, Ireland and Portugal it’s not even comparable. The worst news is that it looks like all of these countries are beginning to suffer renewed bouts of economic weakness. Not surprising given the austerity measures that have been pulverizing them for years now. So the good news is the USA is a good house in a bad neighborhood. The bad news is the other houses aren’t getting any prettier any time soon and that’s only going to make it more difficult for the value of the American house to appreciate.
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.