I've seen recent reports that keep citing expected or projected GDP growth rates over the 10 year period 2010 - 2020 at or in the close range of 3%/year. What's important isn't GDP growth rates per-se, but GDP growth per Capita. GDP's growth by itself doesn't indicate improvement if the population is increasing at a faster rate than GDP's growth. With that in mind, I present the following 10 Year Average Annual GDP/Capital history.
Here's the data for 10 year average GDP Growth per Capita. Note that the trend has been decidely down on a long term basis. There's only been one period in US post-war history where average annual GDP Growth / Capita exceeded 2.4%/year over a 10 year period.... that was from 1966 - 1975. Even after the previous (relative to current time) lowest 10 year average annual growth rate/capita the succeeding growth never topped over 2% on a 10 year average annual basis.
So how about just the plain ol' vanilla 10 year average annual GDP Growth? It's also been heading down at the rate of 0.05%/year (in the best case). Not only that, but it's only been at or over 3% until 1981, and not since ---- and it rose only briefly to highs of 2.7% - 2.8% from 2000 to 2007 (dot com boom and housing boom periods).
Even if you ignore all data prior to 1986, the 10 year average annual trend has been a virtually flat 2.5%/year ... and that's includes the dot-com and housing boom periods. Unless something dramatic changes --- without creating another series of bubble induced growth spurts, the 10 year period from 2010 to 2020 won't be 3%/year !!!! That's a fiction... another piece of propoganda mongering... pablum.
First of all, the 1st 2 years of the 10 years are already behind us ... they averaged 0.085% (-1.46% & +1.64% for 2010 & 2011 respectively. To achieve 3% average annual growth for the full 10 year period would require the remaining 8 years to average 2.96%/year real GDP growth. And we're off to a great start, huh? ... 2.2% for 1Q 2012 (at annualized rate).
When's the last time a sequential 8 year period averaged at or over a real 2.96%/year? It was 1973 (i.e. the 8 year period ending at YE 1973). It barely averaged half that much over the 8 years encompassing the dot-com & housing boom's best years fer christ's sake, having the highest average of only a real 1.7%/year over an 8 year period which includes both bubbles!
Here's the plain vanilla ordinary 10 year average GDP growth history. Read'em and weep... or at the very least recognize that those who project a 10 year average annual GDP growth of 3% from 2010 to 2020 are leading you astray... feeding you pablum or have an agenda that precludes using objective reality to tell their story.