The U.S. Keeps Humming Along


Thank God I’m an American!

That may sound jingoistic to some and overly pious to others, but in the real world of dollars and cents, well, it’s true.

While investors who were foolish enough to throw their money into emerging markets now race for the exits, amid 60% interest rates in Argentina, 18% inflation in Turkey, recession in South Africa, and a currency crisis spreading to Indonesia, even India, the U.S. economy is humming along.

In August, employers added 201,000 new jobs, slightly above the consensus forecast; the unemployment rate stayed at 3.9%, and average hourly earnings rose by 2.9% year over year.

That last stat got the most attention, because wage growth has long been the missing piece of this economic puzzle. As unemployment has plunged, wages haven’t followed. But if wage growth persists—a big “if”—that would be great news for the millions of Americans whose income has fallen behind.

Yet there’s a downside as well.

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