ERA Speaker: U.S. Added China-Sized Economy In Three Years

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LAS VEGAS - The U.S. economy has grown at an average rate of 4 percent per year, according to veteran broadcaster Stu Varney at the Electronic Retail Association's 16th annual convention here.

Mr. Varney, who spent 18 years with CNN before moving to Fox News in December 2003, criticized the constant negativism of the mainstream press.

"In three years, the value of the U.S. economy has increased by $2.2 trillion," he said. "That's the size of China's economy. In three years we've added a China-sized economy."

Currently an economist with Fox, Mr. Varney summed up the state of the global economy, providing an economic backdrop to direct marketers attending the annual show for those involved in direct response television.

The "Greatest Story Rarely Told," Mr. Varney said, is that "this is a dynamic, rapidly expanding economy in which we're doing business."

Strong economic growth in the U.S. is driving growth worldwide and the global economy has expanded by 5 percent each year, which is better than it's been for the past 25 years, Mr. Varney said.

"The Greatest Story Not Yet Told," on the other hand, is one of demographics.

"Demographic changes will make profound changes throughout the developed world," Mr. Varney said. "Fertility rates in the developed countries have fallen very sharply."

Countries like Germany and Italy with falling birthrates face larger groups of retirees being supported by a much smaller number of working people, who are having fewer children.

"By the year 2020, 55 out of 100 people in Italy will be 65 or older," Mr. Varney said. "This isn't an economically viable society - it's like a giant Fort Lauderdale."

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