The Bureau of Economic Analysis has revised up its accounting of the domestic economy’s performance. In its latest estimate, the BEA reports the economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.9 percent in the second quarter. While that represents a marked improvement from the prior period, investors are scouting for clouds on the horizon. More than six years into the current economic expansion, market participants are asking the obvious question. How long can it go? On average, expansions in the post-World War II era have lasted a little under five years (58.4 months, to be precise). If the current cycle resembled the average, the United States would be in the early throes of the next recession. Keeping us company, we would be joined by other globally significant economies, including Brazil, Canada, and Japan.

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