Lewis Diuguid

U.S. economy stays afloat despite sinking eurozone

The pond and a steady Federal Reserve hand have helped the United States steer clear of the economic storm that Europe has endured for months.

A recession continues to grip the European economy with high unemployment particularly in Spain, Italy and Greece. The New York Times reports that the eurozone economy contracted more than anticipated in the first quarter of this year.

It’s actually the sixth consecutive quarter of decline with France falling back into the recession for the first time since 2009 and Germany circling the bowl.

Austerity programs in Europe have contributed to that economy’s decline. Multibillion-dollar stimulus programs, cut-to-the-bone interest rates and the Fed’s aggressive monetary policies so far have helped the U.S. economy continue to recover from the Great Recession.

The housing and auto-purchasing markets are rebounding, jobless rates continue to fall and the stock market in the United States continues to reach new highs. But gasoline prices now approaching $4 a gallon in the Midwest also have been on an upward trend, threatening to slow any summertime economic gains.