The American Society of Civil Engineers has a stark warning for motorists and politicians: failing to invest enough into roads and bridges could mean a massive $3 trillion hit to gross domestic product by 2020.
ASCE’s Failure to Act economic report series shows the economic consequences of continued underinvestment in our nation’s infrastructure, and the economic gains that could be made by 2020 in terms of GDP, personal disposable income, exports, and jobs if we choose as a country to invest in our communities.
The culminating report was released on January 15, 2013 and presents an overall picture of the economic opportunity associated with infrastructure investment and the cost of failing to fill the investment gap.
ASCE finds that with an additional investment of $157 billion a year between now and 2020, the U.S. can eliminate this drag on economic growth and protect:
-$3.1 trillion in GDP, almost the equivalent of Germany’s entire GDP
-$1.1 trillion in U.S. trade value, equivalent to Mexico’s GDP
-3.5 million jobs, more than the jobs created in the U.S. over the previous 22 months
-$2.4 trillion in consumer spending, comparable to Brazil’s GDP
-$3,100 in annual personal disposable income
ASCE’s economic report on surface transportation, released in July 2011, found that our deteriorating infrastructure will cost the American economy more than 876,000 jobs and suppress the growth of our GDP by $897 billion by the year 2020.