Economic Catastrophe?

There’s currently nothing but economic doom and gloom in the media. How many times have I read “In these uncertain economic times…”, or “As the ecnomomy continues its death spiral…”?

Let’s get some perspective here. Some national economies have reportedly had a 10% drop in GDP. This is typically quarterly results projected to an annualised basis. In other words, it’s a forecast based on one data point, a guess, nothing more than the work of an unqualified soothsayer.

But let’s assume that whatever country you live in will have a year where GDP drops 10%. Let’s also assume that for the previous few years, GDP growth was 4%/year. What will be the result of that 10% drop? A return to feudal states? A post-apocalyptic waste land?

My calculations tell me that a 10% drop in GDP will result in total GDP being equal to the levels it had 2-and-a-half years ago. Was life really so intolerable back in 2006? Apart from there being no iPhone, I think I could cope with those oh-so-hard days of 2006 over again.