Tuesday, July 02, 2019

The Longest Expansions in U.S. History

by Calculated Risk on 7/02/2019 11:39:00 AM

According to NBER, the four longest expansions in U.S. history are:

1) From a trough in June 2009 to today, July 2019 (121 months and counting).

2) From a trough in March 1991 to a peak in March 2001 (120 months).

3) From a trough in February 1961 to a peak in December 1969 (106 months).

4) From a trough in November 1982 to a peak in July 1990 (92 months).

So the current U.S. expansion is the longest on record.

As I noted in late 2017 in Is a Recession Imminent? (one of the five questions I'm frequently asked)

Expansions don't die of old age! There is a very good chance this will become the longest expansion in history.
A key reason the current expansion has been so long is that housing didn't contribute for the first few years of the expansion.  Also the housing recovery was sluggish for a few more years after the bottom in 2011.  This was because of the huge overhang of foreclosed properties coming on the market.