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Entries in GDP (23)

Monday
Jan312011

What Could You Do with the US Debt of $14 Trillion?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- While the debate over whether to lift the federal government's $14.3-trillion debt limit roils in the nation's capital, the country's total public debt grows daily.

That much cash is hard to imagine, even if you're Donald Trump. So with the help of usdebtclock.org, let's first look at what that kind of money can buy, then we'll put the size of the debt in perspective.

1. 3,824,812,630 Super Bowl XLV tickets

If the average price of a ticket to this year's Super Bowl at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas is $3,676, according to Forbes, then the country's debt could buy out 3.8 billion Super Bowl tickets. That could cover attendance for the next 53,122 annual games, if average attendance at a Super Bowl game is 72,000 people. Or we could just invite half the entire population of world, including China and India.

2. $45,068.58 per person in the U.S.

The U.S. debt comes to over $45,000 per man, woman and child, given the current U.S. population of 311,969,269.

3. Almost the entire annual output of the U.S.

The U.S. GDP is $14,870.4 billion using current dollars, according to the Commerce Department on Friday. That means the debt is about 95 percent of GDP, the value of all economic activity here.

4. The U.S. defense budget for the next 20 years

The defense budget is $690.8 billion, which means the country's debt could cover this largest budget item for the next 20 years.

5. 58 million homes

Stephen Bronars, senior economist with Welch Consulting, said that at the median home price of $242,000, the deficit could buy over 58 million homes. That would surely boost the sagging housing market.

6. 400 of the country's largest companies

You could buy the country's 400 largest companies, according to their market capitalization, said Bronars. Or you could buy 35 of the equivalent of Exxon Mobil, the largest company in the country, with a market value of $399.52 billion. Or $14 trillion is the equivalent of 35 of Apple Inc., which has a market cap of $310.79 billion.

7. All the taxes collected, state and federal

With current annual U.S. tax collection of $2.16 trilliion and $1.17 trillion for the combined states, it would take more than four years to pay off the debt if every penny went toward that purpose.

How Bad Is the Debt?

Tom Digaloma, head of fixed income trading at Guggenheim Partners, said $14 trillion may sound astronomical, but it is not as worrisome as the deficits of other countries, such as Japan. Standard and Poor's just recently downgraded Japan's sovereign debt rating to AA- from AA, its first downgrade since 2002. By some measures, Japan's public debt is more than twice the size of its GDP, according to Debtclock.org.

Though Moody's Investor Service and the IMF warned the U.S. about its debt levels, Digaloma said it will not be long before the U.S. increases its GDP and boosts employment levels, easing the debt ratio.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan282011

GDP Grew 3.2 Percent in Fourth Quarter

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. gross domestic product, which measures the output of goods and services produced in the country, grew at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in last year's fourth quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Friday.

The new figure marks a 0.6 percent hike from the third quarter of 2010, when the GDP increased 2.6 percent.

Friday's percentage is an advanced estimate of the GDP based on incomplete data, the Bureau said.  A second, more thorough estimate will be released on Feb. 25.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov232010

Revised GDP Shows Stronger Growth in Summer Quarter

Image Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. economy grew at a faster pace during the summer quarter than previously estimated.

The annual growth rate for the third quarter was 2.5 percent, the Commerce Department said Tuesday, compared to an earlier estimate of just 2 percent.

More spending by consumers and rising overseas sales of American-made products gave a lift to the economy, but the modest improvement was not enough to drive down the jobless rate.

"It's a mixed bag in that it's better growth, but sets the stage for somewhat weaker growth going forward," said economist Diane Swonk of Mesirow Financial.

"Retailers who have been complaining about inventories, they have a reason to," Swonk said. "Inventories were built faster than we thought over the summer, and faster than consumers could buy them."

The news, she says, means retailers are going to make an extra push this holiday season.

"To the benefit of consumers, they're going to be doing more discounting, even more discounting than they thought, not only through this Black Friday holiday, but as we move into the holiday season to now  unload those unwanted inventories."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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