The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) has officially called it: The longest economic expansion in the United States since World War II — beginning June 2009 until the present — has been stopped in its tracks by the COVID-19 pandemic. The recession many have predicted begins now.

Compared to previous growth cycles, the most recent cycle (128 months with +2.3% GDP) beat out the boom era from 1991-2001 (120 months with +3.6% GDP). What the dotcom bust did to the ‘90s growth cycle, the pandemic has done to the current cycle.

The NBER further explains their findings: “The unprecedented magnitude of the decline in employment and production, and its broad reach across the entire economy, warrants the designation of this episode as a recession, even if it turns out to be briefer than earlier contractions.”