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Slower growth means more fuel to burn

JUN. 12, 2019

bar chart of the length & strength of U.S. economic expansions

At 40 consecutive quarters of economic growth, the current U.S. economic expansion now rivals the 1990s expansion as the longest in the modern era. Odds are good this expansion will continue for the remainder of 2019, although trade disputes could derail the pace of growth.

Beyond this year, the picture is decidedly different. Many economists see a higher likelihood of recession by the end of 2020. Nationwide Economics’s current forecast calls for a 2.1% growth rate for 2020, but that’s below the 2.3% average for the current expansion.

This economic cycle has been notable in that the rate of growth has been the weakest for any expansion going back 70 years. Demographic factors and sluggish global growth have made stronger growth harder to achieve. The adage “bull markets die of disease, not old age” seems apt. With few signs of illness or excess in the U.S. economy, the current pace of modest growth may support a continued expansion.

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