We said boom. We never said Nirvana.
#ad#BuzzCharts wants to make this clear because from time to time we get e-mails from people pouting over negative news (or far more likely, less-positive-than “expected” news), usually with a header that reads something like this: “You call this a boom??!.” BuzzCharts is not aware of any era in American history when every imaginable number improved in every discernible way in every quarter with no hesitation, world without end, amen.
As you can imagine, BuzzCharts has received more than its share of such e-mails in response to the latest employment report.
Dictionary.com defines the word “boom” as it pertains to economics (and not explosives) as: “To grow, develop, or progress rapidly; flourish”; “A time of economic prosperity.” These definitions focus on the infinitive “to grow.” During the period of time that followed the full implementation of the Bush tax cuts (that is, the two full quarters that have transpired since those tax cuts) the economy has certainly seemed “to grow.”
Let’s look at the economic growth numbers, in ascending order:
‐The average economic growth for the period roughly two years before Bush’s tax cut was 1.4 percent.
‐The average for the past 20 years, which is also known as the post-Reagan boom, is 3.3 percent.
‐The average for Clinton’s first term is also 3.3 percent.
‐The average for the past 10 years is 3.4 percent.
‐The post WWII average is 3.5 percent.
‐Clinton’s total average is 3.6 percent.
‐The average for Clinton’s booming second term is 4 percent.
‐Last quarter’s growth was 4.1 percent.
‐The average for the past 6 months is 6.2 percent.
The period since the election of Ronald Reagan, well known as the post-Reagan boom, has turned in a little less than half the growth rate we are currently seeing. The current period has growth rates 75 percent higher than the period of time since the end of WWII, which is very-well known as the post-war boom. Can the economy boom while unemployment is at 5.6 percent? Of course it can. In fact, it already is. That’s precisely why the unemployment rate will not stay at 5.6 percent.