Currently, the U.S. economy is experiencing a combination of slow growth, low inflation and full employment. It’s being called the “new normal,” but it’s unusual, because historically a strong job market such as we have now has translated into strong growth. The unemployment rate in April was just 5.0 percent — the same level as it was in December 2007 before the Great Recession caused it to skyrocket. Yet real gross domestic product (GDP) grew at a tepid 0.5 percent in the first quarter this year. Contrast that with GDP growth of 4.9 percent in the third quarter of 2007, before the contraction began.