Between the start of 1976 through the end of 2007, which coincides with peak True GDP and peak True Credit from the Greenspan-Bernanke Great Inflation, the biggest credit bubble in the history of mankind, there were 16.1 Free Americans age 16 and older for every new car sold in America. By Free Americans, I mean Americans living in the USA, not in prison and not institutionalized. The average over the last 6 months is still 1.18 times higher at 18.9 Free Americans for every new car sold.
The picture looks a bit better for Free Americans 20 to 54. From the start of 1976 through 2007, there were 10.4 Free Americans age 16 and older for every new car sold in America. Over the last six months, there were 11.1 Free Americans. 20 to 54, for every new car sold.
Until that long run average is hit, and stays steady, no one should claim the economy has recovered. As it is, True GDP keeps falling along with everything else.