Are recent US economic conditions similar to the stagflation of the 1970s?

By ·June 7, 2024


Economic conditions in the 1970s were significantly worse than today’s.

Stagflation is persistent high inflation combined with low growth in national income and high unemployment. This situation characterized the U.S. and other industrial countries for much of the 1970s.

Averages for these markers from 1974 to 1975 as compared to those in 2023 through the first quarter of 2024 were:

  • Inflation: 10.1% versus 4.0%.
  • Unemployment: 7.1% versus 3.7%.
  • Real GDP growth: -0.4% versus 2.6%.

Between January 2023 and April 2024, inflation decreased while GDP growth rose and unemployment stayed stable.  

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