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US gross domestic product (GDP) increased 1.9% in 2022 and another 2.5% in 2023.

GDP reached $27.4 trillion in 2023. The increase in real GDP (or GDP adjusted for inflation) was primarily due to increased consumer spending, nonresidential fixed investment, government spending, and exports.


Year-over-year inflation — the rate at which consumer prices increase — was 3.1% in January 2023.

That’s down from June 2022’s rate of 9.1%, the largest 12-month increase in 40 years. Shelter was the largest contributor to monthly inflation growth for most of 2023. Gasoline was the largest contributor in August.


The Federal Reserve raised interest rates seven times in 2022 and four times in 2023. It raised the target rate to between 5.25% to 5.50% in late July 2023 and has left rates unchanged since then.

Rate increases make it more expensive for banks to borrow from each other. Banks pass these costs on to consumers through higher interest rates. (Read more about how the Federal Reserve tries to control inflation here.)


Workers’ average hourly earnings were up 4% in December 2023 compared to a year prior. However, when accounting for inflation, it was less than 1%.

Inflation-adjusted average hourly earnings rose in all private industries (which excludes government employees) except in education and health services, where earnings decreased by 1 cent.


The ratio of unemployed people to job openings hit a record low in 2022 but trended upward in 2023. The 2023 average of 0.64 unemployed people per opening was 0.11 higher than in 2022.

However, there was fewer than one unemployed worker for every open job throughout 2023. The ratio was lower than any other year prior to the pandemic for which there is data.


The unemployment rate was 3.4% at the beginning of 2023 and 3.7% by the end.

It increased 0.3 percentage points for white and Hispanic people, decreased by 0.1 for Black people, and remained unchanged for Asian people. Black and Hispanic people continue to have unemployment rates higher than the national average.


The labor force participation rate was 62.5% in January 2024, up 0.1 percentage points over January 2023.

Although participation increased last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects it will decline over the next decade due to the aging population.


Last year, the US continued to import more than it exported; however, the trade deficit fell 22% from $990.3 billion in 2022 to $773.4 billion.

According to preliminary data, the US imported more goods and services from Mexico than China for the first time in 20 years.

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