Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Corporate profit in context

Corporate profit spiked during World War II, peaking at 12.6% of corporate spending in 1943.

NOTE: For "corporate spending" I am using total corporate deductions, calculated as gross income minus net income, or "total receipts" minus "net income (less deficit)". It is not an exact measure of spending, but it is as close as I know how to get.

Corporate profit fell from the 1943 peak to a low of 2.24% in 1982, then rose to a peak of 8.63% in 2005.

During the Keynesian period, profit trended downward. Corporate profit fell in the post-war years, peaking at 10.36% (in 1950), 7.9% (1955), and 6.61% (in 1966), all during our "golden age". Profit peaked lower still in the late 1970s (5.6% in 1977) before bottoming out in 1982.

During the Supply-side period, profit trended upward. Corporate profits peaked at 4.3% in 1988, 6.11% in 1997, and 8.63% in 2005. During this uptrend we had lows of 2.94% in 1985, 3.26% in 1991, and 3.11% in 2002. Two of these three recent lows follow on the heels of the recessions of 1990 and 2001. But NBER lists no recession around 1984.

Profit trended downward all through the golden age, and the balance of the 1970s. Profit trended up since Reaganomics took hold in the early '80s. Other than that, I'm keeping my eyes open for references to a "near recession" around 1984.

1 comment:

Jazzbumpa said...

Have a look at any of the FRED graphs you posted earlier in the week. They show recession bands, and there were two in quick succession in '80 and '82.