Covid Recovery The U.S. vs. The World

There have been calls to declare that the U.S. economic recovery since the recent pandemic to be a miracle, and the Biden Administration’s various efforts— including the Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPS Act—certainly led to a boost in economic activity.

But it might surprise you that a global ranking of economic recovery since the Covid crisis puts the U.S. only in 7th place internationally, behind, respectively, Finland, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Australia and the Netherlands.

Seventh place is not terrible, considering that the rankings include 122 nations; in fact, the USA is listed among a pack of nations that were quite successful in navigating the Covid’s choppy economic waters. Right behind the U.S. in the rankings are Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Canada, the UK, Austria and New Zealand. Japan came in at number 19, China at number 32, Russia at 36, and India at number 63. Down at the bottom, you find the usual suspects: Chad and Zambia, Venezuela, Gambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, whose recovery is undoubtedly hampered by a raging civil war.

Another way of looking at the post-Covid recovery is to estimate how far each nation’s overall economic activity (measured by GDP) has recovered compared to what it would have been if the pre-Covid trends had continued without a pandemic-related interruption. The chart shows that by this measure, the U.S. is very nearly back on track, while the UK (held back a bit by Brexit), Germany, France, Japan, Canada and Italy are not quite so fortunate.

The political implications aside, it does appear that the U.S. is emerging from the awful slowdown with more vigor than most of its international peers. We can celebrate where the credit belongs: American companies and, most importantly, American workers.