US economy in peril as unemployment payments expire

The failure to reach a compromise by July 31 has left more than 25m Americans facing sudden austerity, after the expiration of benefits worth $600 per week © Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg

US lawmakers are facing increasingly shrill warnings over the dangers to the economy as Congress and the White House struggle to reach a deal on a new fiscal stimulus package, leaving millions of Americans without vital safety net payments and risking not just the US but also the global recovery.