Periods of economic expansion don't last forever, but the one underway now in the U.S. will persist for at least the next year or two, Nationwide Senior Economist Ben Ayers said Friday.
Ayers presented a mostly sunny economic forecast on a cold, rainy morning at the Columbus Accounting Show. The 150+ CPAs and accounting professionals in attendance seemed to validate his observations about the current state of the economy, as – by a show of hands – they indicated that jobs are plentiful and they don't expect a recession until 2021 at the earliest.
Ayers noted that the economy is entering the 10th year of its expansion.
"If we have growth through June of next year this will be the longest expansion in U.S. history, and that's what we think is going to happen," he said. "... Go past two years from now and, well, we'll see."
He said monetary policy is a better leading indicator for an economic downturn than stock markets. It's also important to be aware of geopolitical issues, such as immigration and tariff disputes. The latter issue, in particular, has the potential to slow things down but has not done so yet “because the US is relatively insulated from trade.”
Other points Ayers discussed included: