Russell Turpin
Thu, 18 Oct 2001 21:25:32 +0000

Lisa Dusseault writes:
>Without a positive population rate, how do you expect countries to maintain 
>over 2% growth?  (Recall that under that is considered a recession!)

Actually, not. The usual definition of recession is
two consecutive quarters of *negative* growth. Growing
national product at 2% is not great, compared to the
3.4% the US averaged in the 20th century, and certainly
not when compared against the 4.5% average for the
second half of the 1990s. But it isn't recession.

In some sense, the important number is GDP relative
to population, since this measures change in each
slice of the pie, rather than in the pie as a whole.
Increasing GDP by 4% while increasing population by
10% means everyone has less. I've always wondered
that the measures of national economies were not more
often normalized to population.


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