If the Fed crew combines caution and optimism, Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon is the consummate pessimist: he believes that productivity has truly slowed and projects that the tepid growth is here to stay. In a recent article, he “does not argue that everything useful has already been invented” but just that “the transformative change in business methods made possible by the digital revolution was largely over by 2006.

”He says that “prospective innovations” -- think 3-D printing, autonomous vehicles, robots and AI -- will probably evolve gradually, rather than causing a sudden and sharp jump up in productivity. And he sees a slowdown in business investment over the past decade or so as both a cause and a result of slower GDP growth: with declining population gains and a muted boost from innovation, there are fewer profitable investment opportunities.

Source: Technology - Bloomberg