off the charts
POLICY INSIGHT
BEYOND THE NUMBERS

For Perspective on Today’s GDP Report, Check Out Our Chart Book

With the Commerce Department reporting today that the economy grew at a 2.0 percent annual rate in the third quarter, you might want to check out our chart book, which documents the course of the economy following the 2007-2009 recession.  It shows how deep a hole the recession created — and how much deeper that hole would have been without the financial stabilization and fiscal stimulus policies enacted in late 2008 and early 2009. Here are three charts from that chart book, which show that:
  1. The economy has grown for 13 straight quarters.
  2. Image
    1.1-GDP-change-OPT.jpg
  3. Growth has not been fast enough to close the huge gap that the recession opened up between actual gross domestic product (GDP) and what the economy could produce if demand were strong enough (potential GDP).
  4. Image
    2.1.1-GDP-gap-OPT.jpg
  5. The economy would have fallen into a deeper hole in 2010 if it had not been for the 2009 Recovery Act, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates.
  6. Image
    3.1-GDP-ARRA-OPT.jpg
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