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Economic Growth Over the Years

A Comparison of GDP and Major Events throughout the Years

Year Real GDP (trillions)Nominal GDP (trillions)GDP Growth RateS&P 500Events Affecting GDP
1929  $1.109  $0.105    NA-0.083Depression began.
1930  $1.015  $0.092  -8.5%-0.2512Smoot-Hawley.
1931  $0.950  $0.077  -6.4%-0.4384Dust Bowl.
1932  $0.828  $0.060-12.90%-0.0864Hoover tax hikes.
1933  $0.817  $0.057  -1.2%0.4998New Deal.
1934  $0.906  $0.067 10.8%-0.0119U.S. debt rose.
1935  $0.986  $0.074   8.9%0.4674Social Security.
1936  $1.113  $0.085 12.9%0.3194FDR tax hikes.
1937  $1.170  $0.093   5.1%-0.3534Depression returned.
1938  $1.132  $0.087  -3.3%0.2928Depression ended.
1939  $1.222  $0.093   8.0%-0.011WWII. Dust Bowl ended.
1940  $1.330  $0.103   8.8%-0.1067Defense increased.
1941  $1.566  $0.129 17.7%-0.1277Pearl Harbor.
1942  $1.862  $0.166 18.9%0.1917 
1943  $2.178  $0.203 17.0%0.2506Defense spending tripled.
1944  $2.352  $0.224   8.0%0.1903Bretton Woods.
1945  $2.329  $0.228  -1.0%0.3582WWII ended. Recession.
1946  $2.058  $0.228-11.60%-0.0843Budget cuts.
1947  $2.035  $0.250  -1.1%0.052Cold War began.
1948  $2.119  $0.275   4.1%0.057Recession.
1949  $2.107  $0.273  -0.6%0.183NATO. Fair Deal.
1950  $2.290  $0.300   8.7%0.3081Korean War.
1951  $2.474  $0.347   8.0%0.2368 
1952  $2.575  $0.367   4.1%0.1815 
1953  $2.696  $0.389   4.7%-0.0121War ended. Recession.
1954  $2.680  $0.391  -0.6%0.5256Dow returned to 1929 high.
1955  $2.871  $0.426   7.1%0.326 
1956  $2.932  $0.449   2.1%0.0744 
1957  $2.994  $0.474   2.1%-0.1046Recession.
1958  $2.972  $0.481  -0.7%0.4372Recession ended.
1959  $3.178  $0.522   6.9%0.1206Fed raised rates.
1960  $3.260  $0.542   2.6%0.0034Recession.
1961  $3.344  $0.562   2.6%0.2664JFK's deficit spending ended recession.
1962  $3.548  $0.604   6.1%-0.0881
1963  $3.703  $0.638   4.4%0.2261
1964  $3.916  $0.685   5.8%0.1642LBJ's Medicare, Medicaid.
1965  $4.171  $0.742   6.5%0.124
1966  $4.446  $0.813   6.6%-0.0997Vietnam War.
1967  $4.568  $0.860   2.7%0.238 
       
1968  $4.792  $0.941   4.9%0.1081Moon landing.
1969  $4.942  $1.018   3.1%-0.0824Nixon took office.
1970  $4.951  $1.073   0.2%0.0356Recession.
1971  $5.114  $1.165   3.3%0.1422Wage-price controls.
1972  $5.383  $1.279   5.3%0.1876Stagflation.
1973  $5.687  $1.425   5.6%-0.1431End of gold standard.
1974  $5.657  $1.545  -0.5%-0.259Watergate.
1975  $5.645  $1.685  -0.2%0.37Recession ended.
1976  $5.949  $1.873   5.4%0.2383Fed lowered rate.
1977  $6.224  $2.082   4.6%-0.0698 
1978  $6.569  $2.352   5.5%0.0651Fed raised rate to 20% to stop inflation.
1979  $6.777  $2.627   3.2%0.1852
1980  $6.759  $2.857  -0.3%0.3174Recession.
1981  $6.931  $3.207   2.5%-0.047Reagan tax cut.
1982  $6.806  $3.344  -1.8%0.2042Recession ended.
1983  $7.118  $3.634   4.6%0.2234Tax hike and defense spending.
1984  $7.633  $4.038   7.2%0.0615
1985  $7.951  $4.339   4.2%0.3124 
1986  $8.226  $4.580   3.5%0.1849Tax cut.
1987  $8.511  $4.855   3.5%0.0581Black Monday.
1988  $8.867  $5.236   4.2%0.1654Fed raised rates.
1989  $9.192  $5.642   3.7%0.3148S&L Crisis.
1990  $9.366  $5.963   1.9%-0.0306Recession.
1991  $9.355  $6.158  -0.1%0.3023Recession.
1992  $9.685  $6.520   3.5%0.0749NAFTA drafted
1993  $9.952  $6.859   2.8%0.0997Balanced Budget Act.
1994$10.35  $7.287   4.0%0.0133 
1995$10.63  $7.640   2.7%0.372Fed raised rate.
1996$11.03  $8.073   3.8%0.2268Welfare reform.
1997$11.52  $8.578   4.4%0.331 
1998$12.04  $9.063   4.5%0.2834LTCM crisis.
1999$12.61  $9.631   4.8%0.2089Repeal of Glass-Steagall.
2000$13.13$10.25   4.1%-0.0903Tech bubble burst.
2001$13.26$10.58   1.0%-0.11859/11 attacks.
2002$13.49$10.94   1.7%-0.2197War on Terror.
2003$13.88$11.46   2.9%0.2836Iraq War. JGTRRA.
2004$14.41$12.21   3.8%0.1074 
2005$14.91$13.04   3.5%0.0483Katrina. Bankruptcy Act.
2006$15.34$13.82   2.9%0.1561Fed raised rates.
2007$15.63$14.45   1.9%0.0548Bank crisis.
2008$15.61$14.71  -0.1%-0.3655Financial crisis.
2009$15.21$14.45  -2.5%0.2594Stimulus Act.
2010$15.60$14.99   2.6%0.1482ACA. Dodd-Frank.
2011$15.84$15.54   1.6%0.021Japan earthquake.
2012$16.20$16.20   2.2%0.1589Fiscal cliff.
2013$16.50$16.79   1.8%0.3215Sequestration.
2014$16.90$17.52   2.5%0.1352QE ends.
2015$17.39$18.22   2.9%0.0136TPP. Iran deal.
2016$17.66$18.71   1.6% Presidential race.