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BPEA Article

Unemployment and Potential Output in the 1980s


THE TWO most outstanding features to date of the 1983-84 economic
expansion are the unusually rapid decline in unemployment and the
continuing deceleration of inflation. The 3.1 percentage point decline in
the civilian unemployment rate in the first seven quarters of the recovery
(from 10.6 percent in 1982:4 to 7.5 percent in 1984:3) was greater than in
any postwar recovery since the Korean War. The inflation rate as
measured by the fixed-weight deflator declined from a peak of 11.3
percent in 1980:4 to just 3.8 percent in 1984:3



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