Businessweek Archives

The Lost Decade:GDP


Oh guess what? You won’t be surprised at this.

The last decade has the slowest economic growth rate in the postwar period.

From the second quarter of 1999 to the second quarter of 2009, real GDP grew at a 1.9% annual rate. That beats (in a negative sense) the 2.0% growth rate for the decade which ended in the first quarter of 1983.

In fact, I think even that 1.9% growth rate understates how bad the past decade has been. There have been systematic problems in the measurement of real imports, so that the actual growth rate was probably significantly lower.

I think we need to wrap our minds around the fact that we’re not having a boom followed by a bust…we’re having a bad decade followed by a slow digging-out process.


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