Some advice for US President Barack Obama’s successor: bring a plan to fight the next recession.
That’s one conclusion drawn from a survey of economists, where the median forecast of 31 respondents has the next downturn occurring in 2018.
Assuming the collective wisdom of economists is right — which is a generous assumption given that predicting business cycles isn’t exactly a cakewalk — it puts the current expansion on track to have a lifespan of about nine years.
That’s a pretty good run, though the honour of the longest expansion on record would still belong to the decade that ended in March 2001.
The current recovery has already beaten the post-war average of just under five years, mostly because improvement in the economy has been so slow.
US payrolls only started to really pick up last year, and growth, while steady, hasn’t been anything to write home about.
Economists expect the US to expand at a 2.5% annualised rate this year, just a tick above last year and much slower compared with growth in other recoveries.
The survey also suggests that the next US president will have just one calendar year to get settled in the White House before a downturn occurs.
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