Widget Image
Follow PPD Social Media
Connect With PPD
Saturday, December 7, 2019
HomeNewsEconomyJuly Marks the Longest U.S. Expansion Since the Mid-1850s

July Marks the Longest U.S. Expansion Since the Mid-1850s

U.S. economy on an American flag background waving in the wind, in 3D rendering. (Photo: AdobeStock)

The month of July will mark the longest U.S. expansion since the mid-1850s, surpassing the prior 10-year record from March 1991 to March 2001. In June, the current expansion beginning after the Great Recession ended in June 2009 tied the prior 120-month record, and July will make 121 months.

On September 20, 2010, the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) announced that a trough in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in June 2009.

It signaled the end of the Great Recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion. The recession lasted 18 months, making it the longest of any since World War II.

The longest postwar recessions prior each lasted 16 months, one from November 1973 to March 1975 and the other July 1981 to November 1982.

U.S. economy on an American flag background waving in the wind, in 3D rendering. (Photo: AdobeStock)
U.S. economy on an American flag background waving in the wind, in 3D rendering. (Photo: AdobeStock)

Last week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported the third estimate for first quarter (Q1) 2019 gross domestic product (GDP) showed the U.S. economy grew at a solid annual rate of 3.1%. In Q4 2018, the U.S. economy as measured by real GDP rose 2.2%.


Contractions (recessions) start at the peak of a business cycle and end at the trough. Durations below are in months.

PeakTroughContractionExpansion
December 1854 (Q4)
June 1857 (Q2)December 1858 (Q4)1830
October 1860 (Q3)June 1861 (Q3)822
April 1865 (Q1)December 1867 (Q1)3246
June 1869 (Q2)December 1870 (Q4)1818
October 1873 (Q3)March 1879 (Q1)6534
March 1882 (Q1)May 1885 (Q2)3836
March 1887 (Q2)April 1888 (Q1)1322
July 1890 (Q3)May 1891 (Q2)1027
January 1893 (Q1)June 1894 (Q2)1720
December 1895 (Q4)June 1897 (Q2)1818
June 1899 (Q3)December 1900 (Q4)1824
September 1902 (Q4)August 1904 (Q3)2321
May 1907 (Q2)June 1908 (Q2)1333
January 1910 (Q1)January 1912 (Q4)2419
January 1913 (Q1)December 1914 (Q4)2312
August 1918 (Q3)March 1919 (Q1)744
January 1920 (Q1)July 21 (Q#)1810
May 1923 (Q2)July 1924 (Q3)1422
October 1926 (Q3)November 1927 (Q4)1327
August 1929 (Q3)March 1933 (Q1)4321
May 1937 (Q2)June 1938 (Q2)1350
February 1945 (Q1)October 1945 (Q4)880
November 1948 (Q4)October 1949 (Q4)1137
July 1953 (Q2)May 1954 (Q2)1045
August 1957 (Q3)April 1958 (Q2)839
April 1960 (Q2)February 1961 (Q1)1024
December 1969 (Q4)November 1970 (Q4)11106
November 1973 (Q4)March 1975 (Q1)1636
January 1980 (Q1)July 1980 (Q3)658
July 1981 (Q3)November 1982 (Q4)1612
July 1990 (Q3)March 1991 (Q1)892
March 2001 (Q1)November 2001 (Q4)8120
December 2007 (Q4)June 2009 (Q2)1873

Source: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Written by
Data Journalism Editor

Rich, the People's Pundit, is the Data Journalism Editor at PPD and Director of the PPD Election Projection Model. He is also the Director of Big Data Poll, and author of "Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract."

Latest comment

  • Avatar

    Obama will claim credit. “You didn’t build that.”

leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.