"Between 2008 and 2015, economic growth has been, depending on the indicator, one-quarter to one-half the long-term average since World War II. Economic performance has been variable throughout the post-war period, but recent growth is markedly weaker than previous low growth periods, such as 1974 to 1995. Initially, slow growth was attributed to the financial crisis and its aftermath. But even after the recession ended and financial conditions normalized, growth has remained below average in the current economic expansion. The current expansion has already lasted longer than average, but growth has not picked up at any point during the expansion. By some indicators, growth began to slow during the 2001 to 2007 period, while other indicators suggest that the slowdown is more recent and abrupt. Although this report focuses on the U.S. economy, the same pattern has occurred across other advanced economies. Economists have offered a number of explanations at various points for the relatively slow recovery. These explanations are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and some economists combine elements from more than one in their diagnoses. […] As the duration of the slowdown persists, explanations based on temporary factors become less compelling and permanent factors become more compelling--particularly as the labor market approaches full employment."
CRS Report for Congress, R44543
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html