Buying Power

The Business Cycle Doesn't Care Who's President

On this graph showing the U.S. economy since World War II, the squiggly line represents GDP in trillions of dollars. The straight line is the average growth rate to 2007. Projecting the trend line to today, you can see how much the U.S. has lost in the crisis. Also, the limits of presidential power.

Notes: Plotted on a logarithmic scale to compare recent movements with the past, when the economy was smaller. GDP adjusted using 2005 dollars.

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis
Coy is Bloomberg Businessweek's economics editor. His Twitter handle is @petercoy.

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