The drop in prices, however, has been good for the United States, which is growing faster than other industrialized economies. Lower oil prices in particular will provide a much needed stimulus to consumers, particularly lower-income Americans who spend a larger percentage of their incomes on fuel; analysts say cheaper fuel has helped raise retail sales in the United States. But America’s economy could struggle in the coming year if Europe and Japan slip into another recession. About 25 percent of all American exports went to those two markets in the first nine months of the year.The economic recovery from the financial crisis was uneven and disappointing. Now, in many countries, it is stalling.
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