NOT DONE YET? – The Fed raised short-term interest rates last Tuesday ( 12/13/05 ) to 4.25%, its 13th consecutive rate hike.The Fed’s very brief statement released after the meeting indicated that “some further measured policy firming is likely to beneeded.” The Fed’s # 1 meeting of 2006 and Alan Greenspan’s final meeting as Chairman will be on 1/31/06 (source: FederalReserve).
The last official recession in the USA ended in 11/2001. Our economy has been in expansion since then,thus making next month (January 2006) our 50th consecutive month of growth. Prior to the 2001 recession, the economy hadexpanded for 120 consecutive months, the longest stretch of expansion in our history dating back to the 1850s. Our nation’saverage expansion period has lasted 33 months (source: NBER).