We may, as I argued last month in the Financial Times, be in a period of “secular stagnation” in which sluggish growth and output, and employment levels well below potential, might coincide for some time to come with problematically low real interest rates.
Since the start of this century, annual US gross domestic product growth has averaged less than 1.8 per cent. The economy is now operating nearly 10 per cent – or more than $1.6tn – below what was judged to be its potential as recently as 2007. And all this is in the face of negative real interest rates for terms of more than five years and extraordinarily easy monetary policy. Continue reading »