The Corner

Economy & Business

A 4 Percent Quarter, and a 3 Percent Year — Maybe

J. P. Morgan has upped its estimate of second-quarter real economic growth to 4 percent. The Congressional Budget Office thinks the year will come in at 3 percent. James Pethokoukis provides some context:

All welcome news for an economy that’s been stuck around 2% since the Great Recession and Global Financial Crisis. Indeed, there hasn’t been a full year of 3% growth since 2005. Or look at it this way: There were 18 “hypergrowth” quarters of 4% growth or faster in the 1980s (1980–89) and 17 in the 1990s (1990–99), but just nine so far in the 2000s and 2010s combined.

He adds that it’s too soon to tell whether we’ve escaped from the “new normal” of 2 percent annual average growth. That would require “a sustained upturn in productivity.”

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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