The above chart from the Dallas Fed looks at several economic indicators in the 69 months since each business-cycle peak, comparing the Great Recession to six previous recessions. And it is not a flattering comparison. From the study:
1. Real GDP is 5.3 percent higher than it was when the Great Recession began, compared with average real GDP growth of more than 20 percent for the six previous recoveries at this same point in the business cycle. The chart also indicates that after 69 months (or 23 quarters) following the NBER peak, real GDP growth for the previous recoveries ranged from 15 to 35 percent.
2.The coincident index and its four economic indicators are also highlighted in Chart 2. Through September 2013, the coincident index is 0.8 percent below its value when the Great Recession began. By comparison, all of the six previous recoveries had surpassed their NBER recession peak values an average 13.8 percent by this same point in the business cycle, ranging from an increase of 8 to 24 percent.
3. For payroll employment, jobs are 1.3 percent below the level when the Great Recession began, compared with an average increase above peak of 10.2 percent for the previous six business cycles.
4. Industrial production remains 0.8 percent below its level when the Great Recession began, compared with an average increase of 16.3 percent for the previous six business cycles.
5. The only two indicators that have surpassed their pre-Great Recession peak levels are personal income and manufacturing and trade sales. Personal income is 3.1 percent higher than when the Great Recession began, and manufacturing and trade sales is 0.1 percent higher. However, these increases compare poorly with average increases over the past six business cycles of 17.3 percent for personal income and 19.5 percent for manufacturing and trade sales.