Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Duration of Economic Expansions

From time to time one may still hear analogies linking our current economic period to the Great Depression.  Most know that the Depression consisted of two separate recessions, one which started in 1929 and the other in 1937.  The intervening period was technically an expansion but wasn't much to write home about.  

Our current economy is also often compared to the 1970s because the stock market went sideways for about a decade during that time as well before ultimately culminating in the early 80s inflationary recession.

If each of those periods are comparable and we sit in an economic purgatory between one recession and another, it might be at least mildly comforting to think that the next recession could still be a year away. The economic expansion between 1933-1937 lasted 50 months and the expansion from 1975-1980 lasted 58.  Our current expansion is still only 39 months old.  Just a babe!  A full list of economic expansions can be found here.

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