Meet the Press   |  December 22, 2013

Economic data: The raw numbers

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde sits down with David Gregory to analyze the status of the U.S. economy and what growth lies ahead.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> stock market is at a record high. it's up more than 20% this year. unemployment has dropped to 7%. in the third quarter of this year, the u.s. economy grew at the fastest pace since 2011 . why isn't this being vuld iewed as a robust recovery? i spoke to the head of the international monetary fund , christine lagarde , about the prospects for 2014 and the political hurdles that lay haed. ms. lagarde, we will tomalcome to "meet the press "snoochlt.

>> thank you.

>> what do you see about the rebound of the u.s. economy at the end of this year?

>> we see a lot more certainty for 2014 . there habgos bee has been good action take n by congress to eliminate the fear about the budget and reduce the sequestration. we see the fed having taken some very well communicated action concerning the tapering of the program, and those are good signs, in addition to which we see some good numbers. growth is picking up and unemployment is going down. so all of that gives us a much stronger outlook for 2014 , which brings us to raising our forecast.

>> so you talk about the fed tapering. what does that mean, nofor my audience that may not understand? what does that mean and what is the immediate economic effect of it? people may be worrying about what they've been doing, creating a bubble, in effect.

>> what the fed has been doing is effectively buying a lot of debt, putting a lot of liquidity into the system, making it more fluid, and effectively keeping the economy going. that's what the fed has been doing. now, they said they would do that as long as the economy was, you know, low, as long as growth was tepid. the fact that they decided and announced to slow the volume of debt -- reduce the volume of debt that they're buying indicates two things. one is that the economy is picking up. two, the unemployment is going down.

>> unemployment is still high in