Thursday marks the eighth anniversary of the economic recovery, which is now the third-longest postwar economic expansion and is in striking distance of the record.
The current economic recovery began in June of 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Analysis, a private, non-profit organization that tracks business cycles.
The jobs recovery didn't begin until over a year later, in October of 2010. But June 2009 marked the point at which business activity stopped declining and began picking up, according to the economists at the National Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Since then, the economy has grown only relatively slowly, but without any major downturns that would qualify as a recession. Unlike Europe, the U.S. avoided a double-dip recession.
At 96 months in duration, the recovery is already significantly longer than the postwar average of 58.4 months.
Since World War II, the U.S. has only enjoyed two longer uninterrupted economic expansions: The 106 months between February 1961 and December 1969, and the full 10 years of the George W. Bush/Bill Clinton expansion from March 1991 to March 2001.
The recovery that began under President Barack Obama could grow to record length under President Trump, if the projections of officials at the Federal Reserve are borne out.
"After a tumultuous decade, the economy is now close to full employment and price stability," Federal Reserve governor Jerome Powell said Thursday in a speech in New York City.
"The interesting aspect of [this] business cycle is that there are no credible indicators to suggest that the current expansion is growing long in the tooth," wrote Steven Ricchiuto, chief U.S. economist for the bank Mizuho, suggesting that the economy could grow for several more years.
Gross domestic product growth is on track to bounce back up to a 3.7 percent annual rate in the second quarter after a slow first quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and Fed officials see economic output growing at about a 2 percent rate in the years ahead. Trump has set a goal of sustained 3 percent growth, to be reached through tax reform, regulatory relief, and new trade deals.
Meanwhile, job growth, one of the most reliable indicators of the health of the economy, has remained robust recently, even though there are fewer unemployed to be hired. Over the past three months, job gains have averaged 174,000, roughly twice as much as needed to keep unemployment from rising. Forecasters expect that the May jobs report set to be published Friday will show 185,000 new jobs in the month.