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Economic Commentary

Why the Optimism?

In spite of the recent recession, hopes for the New Economy have been little daunted. Surprisingly robust productivity growth during the recent downturn provides compelling new evidence that something truly fundamental is going on. This Commentary argues that advances in information technology, and their diffusion through the economy, are justifiable reasons for our optimism. Higher productivity growth is not an ephemeral phenomenon but one likely to persist for some time into the future, perhaps even accelerating further.

The views authors express in Economic Commentary are theirs and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland or the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The series editor is Tasia Hane. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. This paper and its data are subject to revision; please visit for updates.

Suggested Citation

Carlson, John B. 2002. “Why the Optimism?” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary 4/1/2002.