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The slumping stock market since mid-January, has prompted concerns that the expansion might be due to expire. In this edition of Graphic Intelligence, we look at the longest consistent indicators of economic activity – the amplitude and scope of real GDP growth, and changes in employment – and how that record allows some tentative judgments about whether the current expansion is too old to continue. Ranked alongside two of the three expansions with definite beginnings and ends since 1975, the current expansion does look somewhat elderly. Compared to the 1992-2008 expansion, however, it looks more youthful – only about half as long.

To learn more about what this all means for the slumping stock market, see the recent Intelligence Memo, “The Durability of the Current Expansion,” by William B.P. Robson, Jeremy M. Kronick, and Nikki Hui.