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Robert Barro: Why This Slow Recovery Is Like No Recovery

June 6, 2012 1 minute Read by Four Percent

Robert J. Barro, Wall Street Journal Last week's dismal jobs report showed little change in payroll employment for May and a slight rise in the unemployment rate to 8.2%, thereby underscoring the weakness of the economic recovery. Although changes in payroll employment and the unemployment rate are important, the key gauge of recession and recovery is the growth rate of real gross domestic product, and that is where our core problems lie. The average annual growth rate of U.S. GDP since 1948 has been 3.1%. In the recession starting in the third quarter of 2007 and ending in the second quarter of 2009, GDP fell by nearly 5%. But this decline is 10% when gauged relative to trend—that is, after factoring in normal growth. To make up for this shortfall, the subsequent recovery has to attain growth rates averaging above 3% for several years. Read More (Subscription Required)

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