July 3, 2012

Anemic Obama recovery

Back in September of 2009, The Economist declared that the recession the country was in was over as of June of that year.  That being the case, how has the recovery been for you?  It has by standards of recent recoveries, not been so good for the United States.  After a steep decline you'd expect a steep recovery, would you not?  That hasn't been the case with the Obama-(mis)led recovery.

As this graph illustrates, compared to the last two recessions the economy has been under-performing, pretty badly in fact (HT Andrew Malcolm).

Source for data here.

The graph shows that from the Carter recession, the Reagan recovery roared back with a vengeance. That recovery also from a deep recession peaked at 9.3% GDP and averaged a robust 5.8% over 12 quarters following the recession. Reagan of course won a resounding re-election victory in 1984.

From the more mild recession of the Bush 41 era, the Bush and Clinton recovery (aided in large party by an historic Republican Congress in 1994, was not not quite as pronounced, but still managed to peak at 7.0% in 1996, and averaged 3.5% over the same number of quarters.  In fact, 7 quarters into that recovery, averaging over 3.1% GDP growth, George H W Bush still lost his re-election bid.

Where is Obama's average?  His peak GDP growth was at 3.9% in the first quarter of 2010.  That was when all that stimulus money was flowing.  Despite the flood of cash, the peak did not approach the recovery levels of either previous recession mark.  And Obama's recovery average (should the estimates of 1% for Q2 2012 hold up) will be a paltry 2.3%,  but in a best case scenario, still a mere 2.4%.

For the president to try to get by on a message of it could have been worse, with unemployment greater than  8% and anemic GDP growth, and a massive incremental load of debt is unfathomable.  That president Obama is still in this thing makes me give my head a shake.  This recovery has been so anemic, the United States seriously risks a second recession.

It's no wonder the president wants to do a victory lap on Obamacare - what else has he got?

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