Monday, February 7, 2011

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), real GDP is now slightly above the pre-recession peak. Real GDP (in 2005 dollars) was at $13,382.6 billion in Q4, just 0.14% above the $13,363.5 billion in Q4 2007.

However industrial production is still 5.8% below the pre-recession peak, and it will probably be some time before industrial production returns to pre-recession levels.

Payroll employment is still 5.6% below the pre-recession peak. And even with slightly above trend GDP growth in 2011, payroll employment growth will probably only recover slowly. Payroll employment is still 7.7 million below the pre-recession peak, and if the the U.S. adds 2.5 million payroll jobs per year over the next 3 years (my current forecast is 2.4 million private sector jobs this year), it would take 3+ years to return to the pre-recession peak. And that doesn't include population growth!

This graph shows real personal income less transfer payments as a percent of the previous peak.This has been slow to recover - and is still 4.3% below the previous peak.

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