Source: Crestmont Research
Source: Crestmont Research

Ed Easterling, president of Crestmont Holdings LLC, created the chart above comparing various economic recoveries. He selected those that followed similar annual declines in real gross domestic product.

As the chart shows, the present economic recovery is the most sluggish we have seen. We can attribute this to numerous factors (i.e. take a guess):

• Depth of the prior balance sheet recession;
• More modest federal spending and hiring than past recessions;
• Ongoing deleveraging;
• Economic weakness in emerging markets;
• Political troubles in the euro zone;
• And etc.

Whatever the reason for rationalizing the current weakness, the chart strongly suggests it isn't your imagination: This is a subpar, mediocre recovery.

To contact the author of this article: Barry Ritholtz at

To contact the editor responsible for this article: Alex Bruns at