For the first time ever, the U.S. economy started and ended an entire decade without a recession — the longest expansion in our history, researchers say.
The National Bureau of Economic Research found, as of December, the economy has expanded for a record 126 consecutive months, CNBC reported.
"It is unusual that this has been such a persistent recovery," Michelle Meyer, chief U.S. economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told CNBC.
CNBC noted much of the expansion over the decade has been spent recovering from the so-called Great Recession of 2007-09.
The economic research group, which keeps the official tally of U.S. recessions, found expansions have lasted an average of 58.4 months from 1945 to 2009, compared to 35 months from 1919 to 1945.
David Wilcox, former director of the Division of Research and Statistics at the Federal Reserve Board, said stimulus efforts were key.
"Even today, a decade later, we're still running off some of the aftereffects of the extraordinary support that was put in place," Wilcox told CNBC.
And Torsten Slok, chief economist at Deutsche Bank, praised stimulus measures like the Troubled Asset Relief Program and the Economic Recovery Act.
"A very important reason why the U.S. has had such a long and very protracted expansion is that U.S. fiscal policy and monetary policy, being the Federal Reserve and politicians, were much quick out of the box in terms of supporting the economy," he told CNBC.
There are still risks that could derail the expansion — including record high debt levels, political and trade uncertainty and weakness overseas, CNBC reported.
"Recessions are usually policy mistakes," said Josh Bivens, director of research at the Economic Policy Institute. "We really can keep these recoveries going for quite a long time if we have really careful smart policy."
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