The next recession could in theory be around the corner. But unlike people, business expansions don’t die of old age: they are killed by an unpredictable shock, says Bob Hall, an economist at Stanford University and chairman of the academic panel that dates American business cycles: “The next recession will come out of the blue, just like all of its predecessors.”
If that pattern holds, the current expansion should have plenty of life left in it. Inflation is actually lower than the Fed’s target of 2%. The huge hit sustained during the crisis has a positive side: it has given the economy plenty of running room.