U.S.: The Expansion Is Still Looking Spry At Eight

More solid growth this year, but low prices are squeezing earnings

With the average length of an expansion at 4 1/2 years, the current up-cycle, which turned 8 this month, is an old-timer. In fact, only one upturn in the postwar era lasted longer. But even at this mature age, the expansion is enjoying vibrant domestic demand and surprisingly low inflation. That remarkable combination is unheard of at this late stage of a business cycle, when production bottlenecks and labor shortages are usually triggering a runup in inflation.

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