Are things finally looking up?


The U.S. economy continues to improve in the wake of the 2007-09 recession, but challenges remain. The unemployment rate has dropped to 5.5 percent from its 10 percent peak during the recession, but household income remains flat. At the same time, economists worry that many newly created jobs don’t pay well enough to sufficiently boost economic expansion and consumer spending. Inflation remains low, but the Federal Reserve has signaled that it could begin raising interest rates in the near future, a move the Fed must handle adroitly to avoid a new recession. Concerns over wage growth, minority unemployment and weakness of some overseas economies continue to trouble economists and policymakers even as the U.S. outlook improves.

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