This month marks the longest period of time the U.S. economy has gone without a recession, just edging past the economic cycle that ended when the dot com bubble burst.
Why it matters: This milestone comes at one of the more pessimistic moments in the last decade as economists are warning that a significant slowdown in growth, and maybe a recession,is coming thanks to the impact of trade tensions and slumping growth in other economies across the globe.
Behind the numbers: The pace of growth has been significantly slower than its predecessors, making the length of the cycle the defining factor of this period.
- "Signs of over-exuberance" have ended the past 3 economic cycles, Michael Pearce, an economist at Capital Economics, tells Axios. "The interesting thing about this expansion is that it's been very slow and we've really not seen a big buildup of excesses."
- Inflation has also been notably muted in the face of a near-50-year low unemployment rate and strong job creation. And low interest rates that's helped prop up the economy in the past decade may be even lower in coming months.
The bottom line: Economic cycles don't die of old age (cliché, but true). Still, as people worry that a recession is around the corner simply because there hasn’t been a recession in a while, that could weigh on consumer and business confidence — and the fear of a recession could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.