A picture says it all

Real GDP has flatlined (GDPC1)

Sometimes its difficult to appreciate the sheer scope and intensity of The Great Recession and the depth of the hole the US economy has to crawl out of. The chart above shows real Gross Domestic Product (aka, “GDP”, GDPC1, black line) from October 2007 to the present. Further, I’ve baseline the series to 100 at it’s start.

A few points: first, the sharp sudden collapse during The Great Recession (grey bar) is obvious, with real GDP cratering some 4.3% by April, 2009 (relative to the 100 baselined start). From that point on real GDP has increased slowly, hitting 100 (or break even again) by October, 2011 and the series closed at 102.4, or a most, 2.4% increase in real terms across the entire series. Further, for all intents and purposes real GDP has flatlined since July, 2012.

Yes, in spite of the record deficits and unprecedented bailouts, performance of the US economy has been, to put it lightly, less than inspiring.

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