Why you don’t feel recovered

June 2014 marks five years since the recession ended, but still the economic recovery is not complete.

Despite the Great Recession, the U.S. economy is back at an all-time high.

But wait. Then why do Americans feel like this?

It’s because the economy is still not performing at its full potential.

How far below potential, are we?

So… how long until we’re back up to speed?
If the economy grows 3.5% a year, it will take another four years.

And that’s a generous estimate! The Federal Reserve predicts the economy will continue growing between 2% to 3% over the long run.

Hat tip to Neil Irwin, whose 2010 charts on the output gap inspired this post.

Data: Real GDP: Bureau of Economic Analysis; Potential GDP: Congressional Budget Office calculations; Images: Shutterstock; Getty Images Infographic: Annalyn Kurtz and Tal Yellin / CNNMoney