GDP is currently at just more than $15 trillion. If GDP had continued on its growth path of the Great Moderation (defined here from the first quarter of 1984 until the fourth quarter of 2007,) then the current value would be approximately $17.3 trillion. GDP is currently 13.6 percent below that trend growth path, and that gap has continued to grow. The target for that growth path in the first quarter of 2012 is approximately $18.4 trillion. To reach that target, the growth rate from the first quarter 2011 to the first quarter 2012 would need to be 21 percent.
My preferred modified target involves moving to a slower, 3 percent growth path starting in the second quarter of 2007. The current value of that target growth path is approximately $15.7 trillion. GDP remains 4.3 percent below target. The target for the first quarter of 2012 would be approximately $16.2 trillion. To reach that growth path over the next year, the growth rate from the first quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2012 would need to be 7.6 percent (not unusual for strong recoveries, such as in the early eighties.) Of course, once the growth path is reached, the growth rate would then be three percent.