Economic and stock market recovery, post-recession

The stock market's rebound has been more robust than the economic recovery since the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009. Below are key data illustrating how the market and the economy have fared the past 24 months. There's also historical data to compare their current performance with gains following previous recessions dating to 1949:

-- STOCKS. The Standard & Poor's 500 has risen 45 percent. That's nearly double the average 24 percent gain the stock index has posted in the two years following past recessions.

-- CORPORATE PROFITS. Full-year operating profits among S&P 500 companies are expected to rise nearly 18 percent this year, according to estimates from Wall Street analysts. That would make 2011 a record earnings year, with profits nearly twice the level of 2008. Last year, profits jumped 50 percent compared with 2009.

-- ECONOMIC GROWTH. The nation's gross domestic product, the total output of goods and services, grew 3 percent in the first 12 months of this recovery, adjusted for inflation. That was about half the average first-year growth of 6.2 percent in past economic expansions. In the second year of this recovery, inflation-adjusted GDP has been growing at about 2.9 percent, compared with an historical average of 4.1 percent that's typical at that stage of a recovery.

-- UNEMPLOYMENT. The unemployment rate in May was 9.1 percent, down from 9.5 percent when the recession ended. That's a decline of about 4 percent. In the 11 recoveries since 1949, the average decline in the unemployment rate by this stage of the recovery has been nearly 14 percent, nearly four times greater than the current decline.

-- WAGES. Hourly compensation is up 3.3 percent since the recession ended. That's about one-third of the average 9.8 percent rise in compensation at this stage of an economic recovery.

Published: Fri, Jun 10, 2011