December 21, 2015
Article by National Construction Industry Leader Joseph Natarelli and Chief Construction Economist Anirban Basu completes Marcum's 2015 series for Construction Accounting & Taxation, in the November/December issue.
This was not a terrible year. About a year ago, we indicated that 2015 was poised to be the best year of the recovery thus far. Remarkably, we appear to be correct. The International Monetary Fund recently issued their estimate for U.S. economic growth for this year. The estimate stands at 2.6 percent, which would be the best year since the recovery began. In 2010, the U.S. economy expanded 2.5 percent.1 Why then are so many people still so gloomy?
If the economic recovery were likened to a college basketball game, we would be in the early to mid-stages of the second half. With the arrival of mid-June, the nation completed its sixth year of economic recovery and has entered its seventh. As of this wriiting, the nation is in its 76th month of recovery.
Once upon a time, people would have been right to fret that the end was nigh. The average post-World War II recovery has lasted about 58 months, slightly more than 4.5 years. The previous three economic recoveries lasted an average of 95 months, nearly 8 years. The average duration of economic expansions between 1860 and 1945 was just 26 months. The current recovery may still have a few birthdays in front of it and could end up challenging the lengthiest recovery in U.S. history, which lasted precisely 120 months between March 1991 and March 2001.