With a recent ratings downgrade, chronic unemployment, a growing budget deficitand a political system that seems determined to self-destruct, it might appear that the U.S. is losing its grip as the world's top economic power.
But analysts say that despite the laundry list of troubles—and predications of an American decline—the country is far from losing its ranking as the number one economy on the globe.
"The U.S. economy is the largest in the world, and the country has one of the highest average incomes in the world," says Matthew Rafferty, professor of economics in the Quinnipiac University School of Business. "There are few countries that are likely to rival the U.S. in the near future."
"I don't see U.S. power being eclipsed in the short term or even medium term," says Usha Haley, professor of international business at Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand. "The U.S. has problems of course, but the demise of the USA is much exaggerated."
What's keeping the U.S. afloat in a sea of economic woes, analysts say, is what's kept it upright in the past—innovation and the ability to produce.
"Silicon Valley is still the world leader in technology, and Wall Street is still the center of the financial world and of capitalism itself," says Charles Sizemore, CFA and editor of the Sizemore Investment Letter. "And we're manufacturing more today than we did in the 1970s. It's just with less labor."Page 1 of 5 | Next Page