1997 (Rank: 5th)
GDP Expansion: 4.5%
GDP Per Capita (Inflation Adjusted): $36,102
Consumer Price Index: 2.3%
Madeleine Albright becomes the first female Secretary of State. The Dow Jones closes over 7,000 and 8,000 for the first time. Shortly after Steve Jobs returns as CEO of the troubled Apple Computer, Microsoft, then the most valuable company in the world, buys a $150 million worth of shares of the company.
1998 (Rank: 3rd)
GDP Expansion: 4.4%
GDP Per Capita (Inflation Adjusted): 37,238
Consumer Price Index: 1.6%
In 1998, the United States announces its first budget surplus in 30 years. The Department of Justice brings an antitrust suit against Microsoft, the same year as Windows 98 is released. Titanic, released in late 1997, becomes the highest-grossing film of all time in 1998 with over $1.8 billion in sales. America Online announces its intention to acquire Netscape Communications in a transaction valued at $4.2 billion. Daimler-Benz merges with Chrysler, forming Daimler-Chrysler — a $40 billion acquisition.
1999 (Rank: 1st)
GDP Expansion: 4.8%
GDP Per Capita (Inflation Adjusted): $38,592
Consumer Price Index: 2.2%
On November 30, the ExxonMobil merger is completed, creating the largest company in the world. Bill Gates’ net worth exceeds $100 billion. Microsoft is ruled by a district judge as a “monopoly power.” Star Wars: The Phantom Menace is the highest grossing film of the year, and the fourth-highest grossing of all time. The DJIA closes above 11,000 for the first time. Ford Motors acquires Volvo. Napster begins functioning as a peer-to-peer music sharing site.
2000 (Rank: 8th)
GDP Expansion: 4.1%
GDP Per Capita (Inflation Adjusted): $39,750
Consumer Price Index: 3.4%
The NASDAQ hits an all-time high of $5,132 — the tech bubble doesn’t burst until after Thanksgiving. In November, Al Gore wins the popular vote against George W. Bush but loses the election. The U.S. dollar hits an all-time high against the euro. AOL purchases Time Warner for $162 billion in the largest merger in world history. Mission Impossible II is the highest-grossing film of the year, earning over $500 million.
2007 (Rank: 10th)
GDP Expansion: 1.9%
GDP Per Capita (Inflation Adjusted): $43,801
Consumer Price Index: 2.8%
Rupert Murdoch acquires The Wall Street Journal. The minimum wage increases for the first time in a decade, rising from $5.15 to $5.85. Apple releases the iPhone. The Mega Millions lottery has a jackpot of $370 million, the highest ever. The last Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is released and breaks the single day sales record for a book, selling 11 million copies.
-Charles B. Stockdale, Ashley C. Allen. Douglas A. McIntyre, and Michael B. Sauter