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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Recovery Measures

by Calculated Risk on 4/29/2012 08:01:00 AM

By request, here is an update to four key indicators used by the NBER for business cycle dating: GDP, Employment, Industrial production and real personal income less transfer payments.

Note: The following graphs are all constructed as a percent of the peak in each indicator. This shows when the indicator has bottomed - and when the indicator has returned to the level of the previous peak. If the indicator is at a new peak, the value is 100%.

These graphs show that several major indicators are still significantly below the pre-recession peaks.

GDP Percent Previous PeakClick on graph for larger image.

This graph is for real GDP through Q1 2012. Real GDP returned to the pre-recession peak in Q3 2011, and has been at new post recession highs for three consecutive quarters.

At the worst point, real GDP was off 5.1% from the 2007 peak.

Personal Income less TransferReal GDP has performed better than other indicators ...

This graph shows real personal income less transfer payments as a percent of the previous peak through February (March data will be released Monday).

This measure was off 10.7% at the trough.

Real personal income less transfer payments is still 4.2% below the previous peak.

Industrial Production The third graph is for industrial production through March.

Industrial production was off over 17% at the trough, and has been one of the stronger performing sectors during the recovery.

However industrial production is still 4.1% below the pre-recession peak.

Employment The final graph is for employment. This is similar to the graph I post every month comparing percent payroll jobs lost in several recessions.

Payroll employment is still 3.8% below the pre-recession peak.

All of these indicators collapsed in 2008 and early 2009, and only real GDP is back to the pre-recession peak. It is possible that industrial production will be back to the pre-recession peak in early 2013, but employment and personal income less transfer payments have a long way to go.

Summary for Week ending April 27th
Schedule for Week of April 29th
The upward slope of Real House Prices