Pragmatic Capitalism

Practical Views on Money & Finance

8 Years of Growth? Not Likely….

I ran across this interesting chart (see below) at Barry’s site via BusinessWeek.  It shows the expected forecasts for the economy in the coming 4 years.  You’ll notice an interesting upside bias in the picture.  And although the economy has been “depressed” during President Obama’s first four years it has been growing.

This “math” thing is all the rage lately so let’s back out and look at the history of US expansions before we jump to conclusions based on the guesses of guys whose firms thrive in bullish economic environments.

Since 1850 there have been 33 economic expansions.  These 33 expansions averaged 37 months or 3.1 years.

But the expansions in the US economy have increased in length as the US economy has matured.  Since 1945 the average expansion has lasted 56 months or about 4.65 years.  If we want to get really narrow, the last 3 expansions have been even longer at 93 months or just shy of 8 years.

We’re now in month 38 of our economic expansion which means we’ve reached our maturity date using the long-term averages.  We’re still about 18 months outside of a recession using the post-war era data.  Obviously, these are averages, but the bottom line is, the odds of going 8 full years (both Obama terms) without another economic contraction are extremely low.  That doesn’t mean it can’t happen, but my guess is President Obama’s second term won’t be quite as friendly to him as his first….

Got a comment or question? Feel free to contact Cullen via email here or on Twitter here.
Cullen Roche

Cullen Roche

Mr. Roche is the Founder of Orcam Financial Group, LLC. Orcam is a financial services firm offering asset management, private advisory, institutional consulting and educational services. He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance and Understanding the Modern Monetary System.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me: