The US is in its longest economic expansion in history

Cause for celebration.
Cause for celebration.
Image: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Welcome to the longest US economic expansion on record!

Today begins the 121st month of growth since June 2009, when the last trough ended, as determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The previous record was 120 months of economic growth from March 1991 to March 2001.

Alongside this record expansion, the US is also in its longest stretch of monthly job gains, according to non-farm payrolls data by the Labor Department, and the US unemployment rate is at its lowest since 1969.

Of course, not every month of this expansion has been smooth. The early months were battling out of the deepest recession since the Great Depression. Since then much of the growth has been sustained by rock-bottom interest rates and a massive asset-buying spree by the central bank.

As the expansion ages, it’s getting trickier to manage. At the moment, the Federal Reserve looks set to cut interest rates this year to extend the expansion as adverse US trade policy, particularly against China, and persistently low inflation threaten to end this record-setting period of growth.