Eight years after a deep recession ended, the U.S. economy is in good shape, economists say. Unemployment and inflation rates are low, and the stock market continues to reach new highs. With the economy enjoying slow but steady growth since 2009, the Federal Reserve is starting to raise interest rates, but not yet to a level that has dampened the expansion. However, economic gains remain uneven, with a disproportionate share of the gains going to high-income workers, investors and major metropolitan areas. Continuing gridlock in Washington, despite Republican control of the White House and Congress, has some economists worried that promised tax cuts and other stimuli will not occur. There are also risks this fall of a government shutdown and an unprecedented default on U.S. debt. Nonetheless, with the fundamentals of the economy in good shape, most predict that any recession is at least a year off.