Washington, D.C. – Ahead of this Thursday’s State of American Business event, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today released the 2024 State of American Business Data Center. Comprised of a dozen economic indicators, the second annual report captures America’s post-pandemic economic resilience driven by the free enterprise system that fuels economic growth.
The pandemic disrupted our economy and basic way of life, but because of the resilience and resourcefulness of the private sector, America has surpassed many pre-pandemic economic benchmarks.
"Last year we said the U.S. economy was on solid footing at the time, despite challenges such as high interest rates, declining savings, and dwindling credit causing volatility and leading many to predict a recession," said Curtis Dubay, Chief Economist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "We not only avoided a recession, but also the economy grew in 2023, a testament to the strength and resilience of the business community. Businesses continued investing, hiring, and raising wages despite the headwinds. There will be challenges in 2024, but the data points to another solid start to the year."
At the State of American Business event on January 11 at 11 AM ET, U.S. Chamber President and CEO Suzanne P. Clark will highlight the innovation and impact of America’s free enterprise system which enables businesses to serve people, solve problems, and strengthen society, and how government can either help or hinder that potential.
The data center analyzes 12 economic indicators, including workers, IPOs, consumers, supply chains, energy, and innovation to diagnose the health of America’s business community and economy. At the start of 2024, many indicators are trending in a positive direction, while others lag.
- Worker shortage sees no improvement: The Chamber’s Worker Shortage Index reading is near an all-time low at 0.71, meaning for every 100 job openings there are only 71 available workers.
- IPO market sagging: The number of IPOs declined after a surge in IPOs in 2021 due to Special-Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs). Rising interest rates have suppressed mergers and acquisitions.
- Small business loan value stays strong: Despite tightening monetary policy, Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Loan value, a primary source of capital for small businesses, improves.
- Consumer spending is strong: Even though inflation remains high, spending is still surpassing it. Retail sales rose by 0.3% in November 2023, outpacing the rate of inflation for the month.
- Supply chain strains are easing: The New York Federal Reserve’s Global Supply Chain Pressure Index is at 0.11, down from a pandemic high over more than 4.0 in 2021.
- Energy prices are coming down: Energy prices have been at record highs but are now beginning to stabilize.
- Share of patents issued to U.S. residents declining: The pandemic brought the number of patents issued in the U.S. down just slightly. However, less than half go to U.S. residents.
- Entrepreneurship is booming: A projected total of 5.5 million new business applications were filed in 2023, continuing at an elevated level compared to pre-pandemic.
The State of American Business Data Center builds on the Chamber’s expanding portfolio of resources and analysis covering the worker shortage, small businesses, the middle market, inflation, immigration, retail crime, and more.
Register for the State of American Business event on Jan. 11 here.