Economist Mike Walden: Where the U.S. Is Frugal

This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.   Today’s program looks at where the U.S. is frugal.  Mike, our country doesn’t have a reputation for being frugal.  The national debt has more than doubled in the last decade.  The unsustainable debt accumulated by U.S. households was a big factor behind the Great Recession.  But is there a sector of the economy where the U.S. actually looks miserly?

  1. Yes, with corporate debt
  2. Average corporate debt as a % of a country’s GDP is 123%; for US it is 73%
  3. US is also well below most European countries, Canada, and Japan and China
  4. Mexico is lower than the US
  5. Also, whereas most of these countries have seen big jumps in the corporate debt as a % of GDP in last decade, US’s has had virtually no change
  6. So, we can be frugal

And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.