Economic Recovery: Sustaining U.S. Economic Growth in a Post-Crisis Economy [December 2, 2010] [open pdf - 218KB]
"The 2007-2009 recession was long and deep, and according to several indicators was the most severe economic contraction since the 1930s (but still much less severe than the Great Depression). The slowdown of economic activity was moderate through the first half of 2008, but at that point the weakening economy was overtaken by a major financial crisis that would exacerbate the economic weakness and accelerate the decline. Evidence suggests that the process of economic recovery began in mid-2009. Real gross domestic product (GDP) has been on a positive track since then. The stock market has recovered from its lows, and employment has increased moderately. On the other hand, significant economic weakness remains evident, particularly in the labor and housing markets. In the typical post-war business cycle, lower than normal growth during the recession is quickly followed by a recovery period with above normal growth. This above normal growth serves to speed up the reentry of the unemployed to the workforce. Once the economy reaches potential output (and full employment), growth returns to its normal growth path where the pace of aggregate spending advances in step with the pace of aggregate supply. There is concern that this time the U.S. economy will either not return to its pre-recession growth path but perhaps remain permanently below it, or return to the pre-crisis path but at a slower than normal pace. Problems on the supply side and the demand side of the economy may lead to a weaker than normal recovery."
CRS Report for Congress, R41332
U.S. Department of State, Foreign Press Centers: http://fpc.state.gov/