Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Stag Nation

Real GDP (1987:Q4): $7,451,700,000,000
Real GDP (1999:Q4): $11,004,800,000,000
Real GDP (2011:Q4): $13,429,900,000,000

Population (1987:Q4): 243,631,000
Population (1999:Q4): 280,463,000
Population (2011:Q4): 312,838,000

Real GDP per Capita (1987:Q4): $30,586.01
Real GDP per Capita (1999:Q4): $39,238.97
Real GDP per Capita (2011:Q4): $42,929.25

1987:Q4 to 1999:Q4

Real GDP Growth: 47.68%
Population Growth: 15.12%
Real GDP Growth per Capita: 28.29%

Average Annual Real GDP Growth: 3.30%
Average Annual Population Growth: 1.18%
Average Annual Real GDP Growth per Capita: 2.10%

1999:Q4 to 2011:Q4

Real GDP Growth: 22.04%
Population Growth: 11.54%
Real GDP Growth per Capita: 9.40%

Average Annual Real GDP Growth: 1.67%
Average Annual Population Growth: 0.91%
Average Annual Real GDP Growth per Capita: 0.75%

Where will we be in 12 more years?

Source Data:
St. Louis Fed: Real GDP
St. Louis Fed: Population


Stagflationary Mark said...

Who really thinks 12 years of subpar real GDP growth is indicative of a cyclical problem?

Who Struck John said...

It doesn't matter where we are in 12 years; hunting season opens in two years (Bummer of a birthmark, Hal.) .

Two more years of the current trajectory and we're pretty well guaranteed a Greek trajectory; that's what MOM keeps warning over on her blog. Our political class won't wake up to that until we're practically in default.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Who Struck John,

MOM and I disagree somewhat over this. I don't see the Greek trajectory. We don't owe our debts in Euros that we can't print.

That doesn't mean that the trajectory we're on is much better.

We aren't exactly on Japan's trajectory either, since we have a massive trade deficit.

What's the combination of Japan's trajectory and Greece's trajectory? I can't say for sure but I am willing to hold long-term inflation protected treasuries. I think real yields can get worse. It has been my prediction since starting this blog and so far hindsight is being very kind to that prediction.

I continue to predict it because it is based on the following theory.

It will be harder and harder to make money off of money.

The real growth isn't and won't be there to support the real prosperity it would take.

Just an opinion of course.

Stagflationary Mark said...

One more thought.

Bummer of a birthmark indeed! ;)

dearieme said...

"Where will we be in 12 more years?"

What makes you think there will still be a "we"?

Stagflationary Mark said...


Worst Case: "WE" = World Ends

Sorry, just another attempt at gallows humor, lol. Sigh.

Mr Slippery said...

Well, GDP isn't everything. Quality of life doesn't directly equate to GDP or GDP per capita. Distribution of the wealth is important among many other things.

My personal income will be dropping this year, but I'll have more days off work. That is a quality of life improvement for me, unless it becomes too many days off!

Slowing rates of growth is only natural as you get bigger. I hope we can retool as a society so growth isn't the number one goal at all costs. OTOH, Capitalism doesn't work very well when capital is not producing big fat returns.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Mr Slippey,

Here's a crazy Japanese-style thought experiment.

What if the 25% reduction in our population growth was more than partially responsible for the 50% decline in our real GDP growth?

What happens if we do it again?

I sense some unwinding of economic 2-1 leverage.

I tend to think that Japan's economy isn't struggling because their population stopped growing. I think their population stopped growing because their economy was struggling.

I can't speak for others but when I see long-term exponential growth trend failures and increasing burdens places on future generations I'm far less likely to have children (and haven't).

Stagflationary Mark said...

I said places. I meant placed.

Mr Slippery said...

Future generations can, and I suspect will say screw you at some point. It is plainly unfair and someone from that generation will stand up and say enough. I say "that" generation because, like you, I straddle boomers and GenX. Maybe you and I can say "screw you" to ourselves. That will teach us.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Mr Slippery,

Oh @#$% me