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A Pictorial Review of the Weakest Recovery since the Great Depression
With the economy rolling over and at risk of moving into another recession, it looks like Mr. Feldstein’s original judgment has proven correct as most indicators of economic activity failed to exceed prior peaks. Thus, it is a fair argument to suggest the recession never ended and should be labeled “The Second Great Contraction,” with the first being the Great Recession. A pictorial review below shows what a feeble recovery this has been, particularly with massive fiscal and monetary stimulus.
Shown in the images to follow is the average recovery in various economic measures normalized to 100 at their peak versus time (months), and a figure showing the actual number of months it took to exceed the peak for past recoveries. First up is gross domestic product or GDP.
As most people know, the broadest measure of economic activity is GDP. Shown below is data going back to WW II with the average recovery taking 13.5 months to exceed its former peak. You can see that the recovery this time from the December 2007 peak has failed to exceed its former high after 42 months and still counting......
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