Even adjusted for pandemic scarring, recent output gaps are entirely unremarkable: Output gap, standard and adjusted for post-pandemic outcomes for labor force participation, capital investment and productivity trends, 1950–present

Output gap (adjusted) Output gap (July 2023 vintage)
1950q1 -1.4%
1950q2 0.2%
1950q3 2.8%
1950q4 3.4%
1951q1 3.5%
1951q2 3.9%
1951q3 4.7%
1951q4 3.5%
1952q1 3.1%
1952q2 1.7%
1952q3 0.9%
1952q4 2.8%
1953q1 3.5%
1953q2 3.3%
1953q3 1.8%
1953q4 -0.5%
1954q1 -1.6%
1954q2 -2.1%
1954q3 -1.6%
1954q4 -0.2%
1955q1 2.0%
1955q2 3.0%
1955q3 3.7%
1955q4 3.7%
1956q1 2.6%
1956q2 2.8%
1956q3 2.1%
1956q4 3.0%
1957q1 2.9%
1957q2 1.9%
1957q3 2.0%
1957q4 0.0%
1958q1 -3.4%
1958q2 -3.6%
1958q3 -2.3%
1958q4 -0.9%
1959q1 0.1%
1959q2 1.3%
1959q3 0.3%
1959q4 -0.5%
1960q1 0.7%
1960q2 -0.9%
1960q3 -1.4%
1960q4 -3.6%
1961q1 -3.8%
1961q2 -3.0%
1961q3 -2.0%
1961q4 -1.0%
1962q1 -0.2%
1962q2 -0.4%
1962q3 -0.3%
1962q4 -1.0%
1963q1 -1.0%
1963q2 -1.0%
1963q3 0.1%
1963q4 -0.3%
1964q1 0.7%
1964q2 0.7%
1964q3 1.2%
1964q4 0.4%
1965q1 1.7%
1965q2 1.9%
1965q3 3.0%
1965q4 4.2%
1966q1 5.6%
1966q2 4.9%
1966q3 4.6%
1966q4 4.4%
1967q1 4.1%
1967q2 3.0%
1967q3 2.9%
1967q4 2.4%
1968q1 3.3%
1968q2 3.9%
1968q3 3.6%
1968q4 2.8%
1969q1 3.3%
1969q2 2.6%
1969q3 2.3%
1969q4 0.9%
1970q1 -0.1%
1970q2 -0.8%
1970q3 -0.6%
1970q4 -2.5%
1971q1 -0.6%
1971q2 -0.9%
1971q3 -1.0%
1971q4 -1.6%
1972q1 -0.6%
1972q2 0.9%
1972q3 1.1%
1972q4 2.0%
1973q1 3.7%
1973q2 4.0%
1973q3 2.5%
1973q4 2.6%
1974q1 0.9%
1974q2 0.2%
1974q3 -1.6%
1974q4 -2.7%
1975q1 -4.7%
1975q2 -4.8%
1975q3 -3.9%
1975q4 -3.4%
1976q1 -1.9%
1976q2 -2.0%
1976q3 -2.2%
1976q4 -2.2%
1977q1 -1.9%
1977q2 -0.8%
1977q3 0.2%
1977q4 -0.6%
1978q1 -1.2%
1978q2 1.8%
1978q3 1.9%
1978q4 2.4%
1979q1 1.6%
1979q2 0.8%
1979q3 0.8%
1979q4 0.2%
1980q1 -0.1%
1980q2 -2.8%
1980q3 -3.4%
1980q4 -2.1%
1981q1 -0.8%
1981q2 -2.2%
1981q3 -1.7%
1981q4 -3.4%
1982q1 -5.6%
1982q2 -5.9%
1982q3 -6.9%
1982q4 -7.6%
1983q1 -7.1%
1983q2 -5.7%
1983q3 -4.6%
1983q4 -3.4%
1984q1 -2.6%
1984q2 -1.8%
1984q3 -1.7%
1984q4 -1.7%
1985q1 -1.6%
1985q2 -1.6%
1985q3 -1.0%
1985q4 -1.1%
1986q1 -1.1%
1986q2 -1.4%
1986q3 -1.3%
1986q4 -1.6%
1987q1 -1.7%
1987q2 -1.4%
1987q3 -1.3%
1987q4 -0.4%
1988q1 -0.6%
1988q2 -0.1%
1988q3 -0.2%
1988q4 0.4%
1989q1 0.6%
1989q2 0.6%
1989q3 0.5%
1989q4 -0.1%
1990q1 0.2%
1990q2 -0.2%
1990q3 -0.7%
1990q4 -2.2%
1991q1 -3.3%
1991q2 -3.1%
1991q3 -3.2%
1991q4 -3.4%
1992q1 -2.9%
1992q2 -2.4%
1992q3 -2.1%
1992q4 -1.6%
1993q1 -2.1%
1993q2 -2.2%
1993q3 -2.3%
1993q4 -1.6%
1994q1 -1.3%
1994q2 -0.6%
1994q3 -0.7%
1994q4 -0.2%
1995q1 -0.5%
1995q2 -0.8%
1995q3 -0.6%
1995q4 -0.6%
1996q1 -0.5%
1996q2 0.4%
1996q3 0.5%
1996q4 0.7%
1997q1 0.4%
1997q2 1.2%
1997q3 1.5%
1997q4 1.4%
1998q1 1.5%
1998q2 1.5%
1998q3 1.7%
1998q4 2.3%
1999q1 2.2%
1999q2 1.8%
1999q3 1.9%
1999q4 2.3%
2000q1 1.5%
2000q2 2.2%
2000q3 1.3%
2000q4 1.1%
2001q1 -0.1%
2001q2 -0.2%
2001q3 -1.3%
2001q4 -1.7%
2002q1 -1.6%
2002q2 -1.7%
2002q3 -2.0%
2002q4 -2.5%
2003q1 -2.7%
2003q2 -2.4%
2003q3 -1.3%
2003q4 -0.8%
2004q1 -0.8%
2004q2 -0.6%
2004q3 -0.3%
2004q4 0.0%
2005q1 0.5%
2005q2 0.4%
2005q3 0.6%
2005q4 0.6%
2006q1 1.4%
2006q2 1.0%
2006q3 0.6%
2006q4 0.9%
2007q1 0.7%
2007q2 0.9%
2007q3 1.0%
2007q4 1.1%
2008q1 0.3%
2008q2 0.4%
2008q3 -0.6%
2008q4 -3.2%
2009q1 -4.7%
2009q2 -5.2%
2009q3 -5.2%
2009q4 -4.5%
2010q1 -4.3%
2010q2 -3.6%
2010q3 -3.2%
2010q4 -3.0%
2011q1 -3.6%
2011q2 -3.4%
2011q3 -4.0%
2011q4 -3.4%
2012q1 -3.1%
2012q2 -3.1%
2012q3 -3.4%
2012q4 -3.7%
2013q1 -3.2%
2013q2 -3.5%
2013q3 -3.2%
2013q4 -2.9%
2014q1 -3.7%
2014q2 -2.9%
2014q3 -2.3%
2014q4 -2.3%
2015q1 -2.0%
2015q2 -1.9%
2015q3 -2.1%
2015q4 -2.4%
2016q1 -2.3%
2016q2 -2.4%
2016q3 -2.1%
2016q4 -2.0%
2017q1 -2.0%
2017q2 -2.0%
2017q3 -1.6%
2017q4 -1.2%
2018q1 -1.0%
2018q2 -0.8%
2018q3 -0.5%
2018q4 -0.8%
2019q1 -0.7%
2019q2 -0.5%
2019q3 -0.1%
2019q4 -0.2% -0.2%
2020q1 -1.9% -1.8%
2020q2 -10.0% -10.5%
2020q3 -4.4% -3.8%
2020q4 -4.7% -3.3%
2021q1 -3.2% -2.3%
2021q2 -2.0% -1.1%
2021q3 -1.4% -0.9%
2021q4 -0.9% 0.2%
2022q1 -0.9% -0.7%
2022q2 -0.2% -1.3%
2022q3 0.3% -0.9%
2022q4 1.2% -0.7%
2023q1 2.2% -0.9%
2023q2 1.5% -0.9%

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis National Income and Products Accounts (NIPA) data, Congressional Budget Office data on potential output, and author’s calculations as explained in Banerjee and Bivens (2023).  

View the underlying data on epi.org.