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As the Cycle Turns

It may be time to start paying more attention to the business cycle.

What does Achuthan forecast for the year ahead? “The first half of 2006 won’t be bad. In the second half of the year” — which is about as far ahead as ECRI can “see” — “home prices will put a drag on consumer spending. At the same time, we see a global industrial slowdown, across all major economies. As a result, the ride gets a little bumpier.”

And what about the “R word”? “There’s no recession in sight,” says Achuthan. “We should make it to the sixth year of expansion at least.”

Edward Teach is articles editor of CFO.

Ups and Downs
The business cycle since World War II
Dates of Contraction
(Peak to Trough)
Duration* Dates of Expansion
(Trough to Peak)
Duration*
November 1948–
October 1949
11 October 1949–
July 1953
45
July 1953–
May 1954
10 May 1954–
August 1957
39
August 1957–
April 1958
8 April 1958–
April 1960
24
April 1960–
February 1961
10 February 1961–
December 1969
106
December 1969–
November 1970
11 November 1970–
November 1973
36
November 1973–
March 1975
16 March 1975–
January 1980
58
January 1980–
July 1980
6 July 1980–
July 1981
12
July 1981–
November 1982
16 November 1982–
July 1990
92
July 1990–
March 1991
8 March 1991–
March 2001
120
March 2001–
November 2001
8 November 2001– N/A
Source: National Bureau of Economic Research
*months

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