This report briefly outlines the slow growth and recovery of the U.S. economy following the end of the 2007-2009 recession. The report compares this recovery to previous recoveries by stating: "From the recession's end in mid-2009 through the third quarter of 2014, as measured by real GDP growth (i.e., gross domestic product adjusted for inflation), the economy's average annual rate of growth has been about 2.2%, compared to the 4.5% pace typical of previous post-WWII recoveries. After a temporary setback in the first quarter of 2014, growth rebounded above the recovery's slow average pace over the next two quarters with gains of 4.2% and 3.9%, respectively. The current recovery has taken longer than the 5-year average of previous recoveries. After 5½ years it is still short of completion. Through mid-2014, the economy's output gap (i.e., the shortfall of actual output below the economy's estimated potential) was 3.5%, much improved from the 7.5% output gap during the recession, but well short of the historical average of about 0.5%." This report also discusses some sources of the U.S. economy's growth to include: personal consumption spending, investment spending, and exports.
CRS Insight, IN10188
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html