What a 7 percent growth rate could look like

Amy Scott Mar 5, 2015
HTML EMBED:
COPY

What a 7 percent growth rate could look like

Amy Scott Mar 5, 2015
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced a new growth target of 7 percent for the world’s second-largest economy in a speech to the National People’s Congress in Beijing on Thursday. That would be the lowest growth rate there since a brief dip back in 1989-90.

Compare that to the United States, where growth last year was 2.4 percent.

Just for fun, we looked at whether 7 percent growth is even possible here in the United States. How would we start?

“We could all go out and have lots of babies,” says Lakshman Achuthan, co-founder of the Economic Cycle Research Institute.

More babies would mean, eventually, more workers earning and spending money. “But that’s just not going to happen,” he says.

A surge in productivity would also boost growth, but productivity growth was actually negative last year. 

The last time the United States economy grew at a clip of 7 percent or more was 1983, after emerging from two severe back-to-back recessions.  

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.