Five Game-Changers To Reignite U.S. Growth

By  |  September 16, 2013, 4:00 PM


McKinseyThe U.S. economy is struggling to find a new formula for vigorous growth. But all growth opportunities are not created equal. New McKinsey research pinpoints five catalysts—in energy, trade, technology, infrastructure, and talent development—that can quickly create jobs and deliver a substantial boost to GDP by 2020. An animated video below also runs the numbers on these game changers and frames the challenge for business and government to make the most of the opportunity.

Exhibit: Five game changers could substantially boost GDP

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 11.08.48 AM

Four years after the official end of the Great Recession, U.S. economic growth remains lackluster. But there is more at work here than simply the business cycle: strains in the labor market were apparent long before 2008. Today, labor-force participation is at a 34-year low, and the United States has two million fewer jobs than it did when the recession began. Weak investment, demographic shifts, and a slowdown in productivity growth are dampening the economy’s trajectory.

But the United States does not have to resign itself to sluggish growth. Game changers: Five opportunities for U.S. growth and renewal, a new report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), identifies specific catalysts that can add hundreds of billions of dollars to annual GDP and create millions of new jobs by 2020.

To identify these catalysts, MGI looked for developments that are poised to achieve scale immediately and could accelerate growth across multiple sectors by 2020. We also focused on areas with an immediate window for action.

Game changers zeroes in on five mutually reinforcing opportunities:

These opportunities can have immediate demand-stimulus effects that would get the economy moving again in the short term and also have longer-term effects that would build US competitiveness and productivity well beyond 2020. Taking action now could mark a turning point for the US economy and drive growth and prosperity for decades to come.

About the authors

Susan Lund is a principal at the McKinsey Global Institute, where James Manyika is a director; Scott Nyquist is a director in McKinsey’s Houston office; Lenny Mendonca is a director in the Washington, DC, office.

This post was orignally published as “Game Changers: Five Opportunities for U.S. Growth and Renewal” at www.mckinsey.com. Copyright McKinsey & Company © 2013. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission.

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