The Great Depression was a period of severe economic contraction that lasted many years. In the United States real GDP fell every year from 1929 to 1933, when it reached only 73 percent of its 1929 level. Starting in 1934 the recovery was quite rapid, with GDP reaching its 1929 level in 1936. By contrast the Great Recession has been much milder. In the US GDP only contacted from 2007 to 2009, when it fell to only 96 percent of its 2007 level. Recovery was quick, with GDP already surpassing its 2007 level by 2011. In the euro area, unfortunately, the situation has been less favorable. Although the initial contraction was similar to what happened in the US, recovery has been slower. In 2013, euro area GDP will still be below its 2007 level.