Business cycle,U.S.

The business cycle of the economy for the U.S. since 1933.

Note that the average expansion cycle since 1945 averages 5 years. The average since 1854 is 4 years. The longest recorded was 1961 to 1969, 8 1/2 years. We are near the end one of the most prosperous cycles in U.S. history. The last recession ended in march 1991. As of the present, we are in the ninth year of expansion. The probability of recession in 2000 is extremely high, and a virtual certainty. (Independent of Y2K!)

BUSINESS CYCLE REFERENCE DATES -periods of economic expansion- DURATION IN MONTHS:

  • March 1933 to May 1937 =50 months
  • June 1938 to February 1945 =80 months
  • October 1945 to November 1948 =37 months
  • October 1949 to July 1953 =45 months
  • May 1954 to August 1957 =39 months
  • April 1958 to April 1960 =28 months
  • February 1961 to December 1969 =106 months
  • November 1970 to November 1973 =36 months
  • March 1975 to January 1980 =58 months
  • July 1980 to July 1981 =12 months
  • November 1982 to July 1990 =92 months
  • March 1991 to present (March 2000) =108months and counting.... (the economy still has some steam left-- we are now on the verge of a new US and global recession. It's now official--the longest peacetime expansion in US history.)

    Average, all cycles:

  • 1945-1991 (9 cycles)11 months(contractions) 50 months(expansions)

    Average, peacetime cycles

  • 1945-1991 (7 cycles)11 months(contraction) 43 months(expansions)

    Note: The business cycle of the 1990's can be divided into two periods:
    The first 4-year period from 1990-1994 was characterized by recession and high unemployment.(even though it technically ended in 1991.) The 4-year period from 1994-1998 was one of expansion. The period from 1998-2002 will probably be one of contraction. Based on the 4-year cycle , we can expect a contractionary period very soon.

    To see how the sunspot cycle correlates with recessions, go to: Sunspot / Recession Page

    Medium-term chart showing regularity of business cycles: periods of growth and contraction.
    chart

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    Email: dfisher@angelfire.com
    since May6,1998