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Viewing the Present through the Historical Perspective of Growth and Business Cycles

The average length of the seven previous recessions that have occurred since 1959 was almost 11 months, while the current recession has already lasted 17 months in the United States. Several of The Conference Board Leading Economic Indexes show signs of moderation, but, as their six-month average growth rates remain below zero, it will be several months before a recovery will occur. Considering the long-term picture, the slowdown in trend productivity growth might result in greater macroeconomic instability on a short-term basis.

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