Winter Is Coming. But When?

In “Game of Thrones,” the bleak House Stark motto, “Winter is coming,” is practically a theme for the series. And yes, winter finally appears to be coming, but its first icy appearance doesn’t arrive until season seven.

Similarly, a recession is coming to the U.S. economy, but it’s taking its sweet time getting here. In fact, economic growth appears to be picking up, even as the current expansion reinforces its record as the second longest expansion in U.S. history.

For those keeping track, the expansion has entered its 110th month, making its run longer than the eight seasons of “Game of Thrones” will be. The longest expansion was 120 months, from March 1991 to March 2001, while the third longest was 106 months, from February 1961 to December 1969.

Some believe the economy is just hitting its stride and that deregulation, tax reform and a pro-business Trump Administration will keep things going for the foreseeable future. Others believe the economy will slow down in the second half of the year and that trade wars will hasten the slowdown.

Few, if anyone, though, is expecting a recession in the near future. Even Paul Krugman, who practically predicted the end of the world under President Trump, hasn’t predicted that we’ll experience a recession anytime soon (if he has, we couldn’t find it).

Many economists and real estate experts expect the U.S. will enter a recession in 2020. If they’re right, the expansion could become the longest in history, albeit it’s been a very tepid expansion through most of its duration.

So relax. Yes, winter is coming. But for now, it’s July, so enjoy your summer.

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