The economy broke a record at the end of June when it surpassed the previous longest period of growth of 120 months, or ten uninterrupted years.
The previous record was set when the US economy didn’t stop growing from March 1991 until March 2001 during which time the average annual real GDP grew by 3.6%. The record-breaking growth we are in now began in June 2009, and is still expanding, although the average annual real GDP has only been 2.3%.
The previous expansion that ended in March 2001 came to its unhappy end when the dot-com bubble burst.
Compared to other expansions, which were far shorter, growth was faster. For instance, during the 45-month expansion from October 1949 until July 1953, the economy grew by 6.9%. Between April 1958 and April 1960, the economy expanded by 5.5%.
Studies have shown that the expansion has not benefited all Americans equally. Steven Pressman of Colorado State University, a professor of economics who is concerned with income inequality, says that 60% of economic gains have benefited the top one percent of the population.
One example Pressman cites are the salaries of schoolteachers. Adjust for inflation, their incomes declined in 2018, by about 0.3%. During the same time period the median pay for top CEOs in the US, including non-salary compensation, climbed by 65%, adjusted for inflation between 2009 and 2018.