Last month, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released an initial estimate of the GDP growth rate for the fourth quarter of 2018. The good news? Real GDP increased 2.9% in 2018, the highest annual growth rate it has been since the start of the Great Recession.
The bad news? Growth seems to have peaked in the second quarter of 2018. From a high of 4.2% in Q2, growth slipped down to 3.1% in Q3 and to 2.6% in Q4.
On a Nominal GDP Per Capita basis, the economic recovery of the Great
Recession is still way ahead of the Great Depression. The dip in nominal
GDP per capita was really shallow - less than 3 percentage points. The
drop in GDP per capita during the Great Depression was a catastrophic
At this point in the economic recovery, some eleven years after the
Great Recession started, we are more than 30% better than where we were.
Whereas during the Great Depression, nominal GDP per capita remained
almost 10% below the depression's inception.
In terms of real GDP per capita, people were made whole only on 2013 of
the Great Recession. Five years later, we are only 9% better than where
we were in 2013. During the Great Depression, people were only made
whole, in terms of Real GDP Per Capita, only on year 10 of the Great
Depression. But the recovery accelerated even faster. Just one year
later, people were 8% better. That trend will accelerate in year 12 - by
then, they will be almost 18% better than they were just one year
earlier. Now where will we be one year from now? We don't know. So far,
we are faring better than people of the Great Depression, but just