Of course, all economies grow when a recession has ended. That's not the question. The question is how slowly they grow.
The economy would have to grow at a 7.6 percent annualized rate in order to catch up with the average postwar recovery by the end of 2012.
The performance is obscured in rhetoric, generalities, and blame and the President is making claims that do not line up with reality or actual cause and effect. So we need to look at the specifics and see which are, logically and factually, contributing and which are hindering.
This has been one of the poorest recession growth periods ever, despite huge amounts of stimulative spending. All deficit spending pours money into the economy to be spent - and therefore it is "stimulative".
Well, we've spent the biggest stimulus (deficit) in history: $5 trillion or so. That's $5 trillion that is added to the GDP for the nation - artificial, and all borrowed!
Yet we are still doing poorly. The targeting of those funds has not been effective.
WHY AREN'T WE DOING BETTER ECONOMICALLY?
Overregulation of business, slowing of permits
Uncertainty of taxes
Extra costs of health care, so hire fewer people
Losing jobs we could have had by adding employment to energy production.
And worst of all: no confidence in this administration
HOW BAD IS IT?
Once an economy hits bottom, it tends to grow at a faster pace than normal, as it recovers naturally.
A graphing of the growth in recessions from 1947 through 2011 shows how this recession's recovery is relatively anemic. Graph
Four years after employment peaked, scarcely one-third of the net loss in jobs has been reversed
"The decline in the unemployment rate over the past year has been somewhat more rapid than might have been expected, given that the economy appears to have been growing during that time frame at or below its longer-term trend," Bernanke told the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee. Source.
(Economists cannot figure out why the reported unemployment rate has declined, contrary to the actual economics. It is puzzling. Or there is some manipulation of the numbers...)
BEING SMARTER ABOUT WHERE THE RECESSION STILL IS ACTUALLY LOCATED
Category Unemployment rate
Government workers 3.9%
Agricultural workers 19.5%
Education and health services 5.4%
Financial activities 5.3%
Professional and business services 10.3%
Wholesale and retail trade 8.9% More unemployed than any other industry
“The rate of unemployment in the United States has exceeded 8 percent since February 2009, making the past three years the longest stretch of high unemployment in this country since the Great Depression. Moreover, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that the unemployment rate will remain above 8 percent until 2014. The official unemployment rate excludes those individuals who would like to work but have not searched for a job in the past four weeks as well as those who are working part-time but would prefer full-time work; if those people were counted among the unemployed, the unemployment rate in January 2012 would have been about 15 percent. Compounding the problem of high unemployment, the share of unemployed people looking for work for more than six months—referred to as the long-term unemployed—topped 40 percent in December 2009 for the first time since 1948, when such data began to be collected; it has remained above that level ever since.” Source
Data Dump, for possible use elsewhere: