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September 19, 2013

Global challenges could slow recovery

NORMAN — The long-predicted recovery looks like it’s going to take a little longer than originally predicted. Rebounds in Europe and Japan are not enough to push the needle upward in world economic growth.

Economists are now suggesting that global growth will remain below full health this year and next. One percent or slightly better growth is predicted for nations that use the euro, Japan and the United States.

The world’s economic challenges are getting the blame for the sluggish estimates. The Associated Press reports that there’s lots of blame to spread around: high government debt, rising unemployment in Europe, low spending levels by business and unstable economies in some emerging nations.

In the U.S., growth is expected to be 2.3 percent through the remainder of 2013 and climb to 2.6 percent in 2014. An expanding economy grows at 3 percent or better each year. The U.S. economy grew an average of 3.25 percent from 1976 to 2007, but it hasn’t reached 3 percent or more since 2005.

The relatively slow pace of job growth and salary increases is also a recovery stopper. Millions of jobs lost in the Recession are not coming back as workers have increased productivity and made better use of technology.

Congress could have a say in much of what happens before year-end. If the government spending cap is not increased, the U.S. could default on its debt and risk a downgrade of its credit rating.

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