If you watch the news, read the paper — well, really, if you live on planet Earth — you’ve heard about economic conditions at some point. Like many other things in life, you hear more about a bad economy than you do a good economy. A recent LA Times article reported 75 percent of Americans think the economy is headed in “the wrong direction.” This pessimism results from conditioning, personal experiences, and hearsay. Your view of the economy has a lot to do with your surroundings. If your employer is handing out pink slips, for instance, you’d be a lot more inclined to notice economic conditions and its impact on your life.
With unemployment at 6.3 percent (according to an April BLS reports), it is sitting lower than it has in nearly six years. The job market is also improving, and prices on many essentials are lowering. These are a few indicators that the economy is heading in the right direction. Although there is less unemployment, and the Energy Information Administration projects price of gasoline will decrease 10 cents by 2015, these measures may not be enough to convince all Americans the economy is truly improving. Many will have to see for themselves.
Several researchers and analysts have a more bullish view of the economy. When they look back to times like the 1929 to 1933 crisis, when real per capita GDP fell by over 28 percent and unemployment hit 25 percent, this recent recession doesn’t look so bad after all.
Yes, the U.S. appears to have made it through this recent recession, as well as others in the past, but it’s always good idea to still prepare yourself for financial catastrophe caused by economic downturns. Here are a few ways economic conditions may affect your life and what you can do to stay one step ahead.