Economic snapshot | Trade and Globalization

GDP growth particularly slow in current recovery

Share this page:

A weekly presentation of downloadable charts and short analyses designed to graphically illustrate important economic issues. Updated every Wednesday.

Snapshot for February 23, 2000

GDP growth particularly slow in current recovery

As of this month the current economic expansion has lasted 107 months, making it the longest in U.S. history. Despite the hyperbole, the rate of economic growth during the current recovery has been slow by historical standards. Gross domestic product — the economy’s total production of goods and services — has grown more slowly in the current recovery than it did in any of the previous postwar expansions except the 1975-81 expansion, which had the exact same low average growth rate.

Source: Data for 1949-60 from Historical Statistics of the US (1989). Data for 1959-99 from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (http://www.bea.doc.gov/bea/dn/gdplev.htm). Growth rates calculated using real 1929 dollars through 1960; chained 1996 dollars thereafter. We limit our analysis to eight postwar recoveries. We exclude the first postwar expansion (October 1945 to November 1948) because of problems with data availability and comparability. We have combined the data for the 58-month expansion from March 1975 to January 1980 and the 12-month expansion from July 1980 to July 1981.

Check out the archive for past Economic Snapshots.


See related work on Trade and Globalization