With the Dow Jones Industrial Average having breached its October 2007 pre-crisis record, a bit of perspective is in order by way of a then-versus-now comparison. Here are a few data points:
Unemployment rate: Then, 4.7 percent; now, 7.9 percent.
Total unemployed: Then, 7.23 million; now, 12.33 million.
Labor force participation: Then, 65.8 percent; now, 63.6 percent.
Gross domestic product growth: Then, 2.2 percent; now, 1.6 percent.
Total public debt to GDP: Then, 36.3 percent; now, 74.2 percent.
Total public debt: Then, $9 trillion; now, $16.7 trillion.
Federal budget deficit: Then, $162 billion; now, $1.09 trillion.
Consumer confidence: Then, 95.2; now, 69.6.
Total household debt: Then, $13.7 trillion; now, $12.87 trillion
30-year mortgage rate: Then, 6.4 percent; now, 3.51 percent.
Median existing home price: Then, $206,700; now, $173,600.
Median household income: Then, $54,489; now, $50,054.
U.S. corporate profits: Then, $1.46; now, $1.97 trillion.
Dollar versus major currencies: Then, 78.5; now, 82.1.
Crude oil per barrel: Then, $80.26; now, $90.87.
Regular gasoline per gallon: Then, $2.77; now, $3.74.
Federal funds rate: Then, 4.75 percent; now, 0.25 percent.
Federal Reserve assets: Then, $890 billion; now, $3.1 trillion.
30-Year Treasury yield: Then, 4.86 percent; now, 3.1 percent.
Inflation rate: Then, 3.5 percent; now, 1.6 percent.
Misery index: Then, 7.5; now, 9.5.
(James Greiff is a member of Bloomberg View’s editorial board. Follow him on Twitter.)
Source: Bloomberg Professional Service, U.S. Debt Clock, U.S. Federal Reserve.