NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Clinton Recovery

October 27, 1995

The current economic recovery, which began 17 quarters ago - the same month the Gulf War ended - is far less robust than previous recoveries from recession.

Annualized growth of gross domestic product in the second quarter of 1995 was only 0.5%, rising to just 1.1% in the third quarter.

Three other post-war recoveries have been both longer and stronger than this one.

  • Recovery from the 1973-74 recession lasted 20 quarters.
  • Recovery from the 1981-82 recession lasted 31 quarters.
  • And growth continued after the 1960-61 recession for a whopping 36 quarters.
  • GDP increased between 17% and 24% during the first 17 quarters of these recoveries, but it has grown only 13.1% this time.
  • Employment grew between 9% and 14% in these three recoveries, but has grown just 6.4% this time.

What has changed from the previous recoveries is the relentless growth of government at all levels which acts as a dead weight on job creation.

Source: Perspective, "The Growth Deficit," Investor's Business Daily, October 27, 1995.


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