Mapping Trends in the US Economy

Unemployment, GDP Growth, and USD Value (2011 & Early 2012)

The U.S. Federal Reserve is on record stating that there must be a significant increase in employment before the economy improves. Looking at the chart below, the evidence appears to support the Fed’s position.

GDP growth increased in each of the past four quarters with the greatest gains coming right after unemployment declined sharply in Q4 2011. Heading into 2012, employment gains appear to have stalled in January and February, with both months recording an unemployment rate of 8.3%. Does this indicate GDP growth will likewise stall, as per the Fed’s view?

Also of interest is how these factors affect the U.S. dollar. The USD’s historical use as a “safe haven” currency is likely responsible for some of the gains against the euro in the past four months. Investors will be watching closely to see if the trend continues into the next quarter.

Mapping Trends - Unemployment, GDP, and USD Value

Created by OANDA

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