★★☆A Look Back at Economic News of 2012

2013年01月11日 ★★☆, 2013年6月以前の記事, Business, News Articles, VOA.

Read and understand the article. If you may have any difficult words to pronounce and words you cannot understand, always ask your teacher.

*Teachers will divide the article into 2-3 paragraphs to help you understand and check the pronunciation of the difficult words.


*Read the words carefully.

  1. recession /riˈseSHən/ (n.) a period of time in which there is a decrease in economic activity and many people do not have jobs
  2. stringent /ˈstrinjənt/ (adj.) very strict or severe
  3. austerity /ôˈsteritē/ (n.) a situation in which there is not much money and it is spent only on things that are necessary
  4. concede /kənˈsēd/ (vb.) admit that something is true or valid after first denying or resisting it
  5. discord /ˈdiskôrd/ (n.) disagreement between people; lack of agreement or harmony between things


A Look Back at Economic News of 2012

* Read the text below

MP3 Download (right-click or option-click and save)

(1) The American economy is improving, but the rate of growth remains low. America’s jobless rate fell in 2012 to its lowest level in four years. Average home prices are no longer falling. And money has been flowing into financial markets.

(2) But as the year ends, most observers say the economic recovery has not been as strong as they had hoped. One reason for the recovery is federal spending. Like many other countries, the United States is spending more money than it is receiving in taxes.

(3) Some countries are spending money they do not have in an effort to get their economies growing again. Richard Rahn is an economist with the Cato Institute.
“If countries had only been spending within their means in keeping spending growing no faster than the rate of economic growth, we wouldn’t have the global economic mess.”

(4) But other economists say the mathematics is not that simple. Desmond Lachman is with the American Enterprise Institute. He notes that deep budget cuts in Greece have produced a deep recession.

(5) “Because what we’re doing is, we’re really applying very stringent austerity measures. The IMF concedes that the austerity hasn’t been working, yet the Europeans are persisting in the same kind of austerity that got them into trouble in 2012, so something’s got to give.”

(6) Financial reform activist Robert Bixby says the biggest problem for the American economy is the country’s political system.

(7) “Political dysfunction in this country is a bigger threat than economic dysfunction.”

(8) Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says the country does not have to be this way. He has been urging lawmakers to provide leadership.

(9) “Such uncertainties will only be increased by discord and delay. In contrast, cooperation and creativity to deliver fiscal clarity, in particular, a plan for resolving the nation’s longer-term budgetary issues without harming the recovery could help make the New Year a very good one for the American economy.”

(10) Bruce Stokes is an economist at the Pew Research Center. He says if the economy does not improve, many nations will be affected.

(11) “There’s an old saying that if we get the sniffles, the rest of the world gets a cold and so if we end up going to a recession as well, I think everybody is going to suffer.”

(12) As one year ends and a new one begins, the world is watching President Obama and congressional leaders. Many people want to know how America’s political leaders will move to cut the budget deficit while protecting the economy.


*Let’s talk about the article base on the questions below

  1. How do you budget your monthly allowance or salary? Please explain in detail.
  2. What is the current unemployment rate in your country? Did it increase or decrease?
  3. Do you prefer working in a company or managing your own business? Explain. If you are still a student, what do you want to be after graduating?


English Compositions

*Let’s make English compositions using the words from the article.

(1) recession

EX) He notes that deep budget cuts in Greece have produced a deep recession.

(2) stringent

EX) “Because what we’re doing is, we’re really applying very stringent austerity measures.”