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The U.S. Economy Has Hit a Milestone

With the calendar’s turn from April to May, the U.S. economic expansion has become the nation’s second-longest on record.

That milestone was reached as the Federal Reserve prepared to begin a two-day meeting in Washington on Tuesday. After a slow-but-steady slog over the past eight years and 10 months, most parts of the economy still look resilient.

The central bank has kept borrowing costs historically low since the U.S. crawled out of a recession in mid-2009. It’s expected to leave interest rates on hold this week and plans to raise them only gradually. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is betting on juicing growth through $1.5 trillion in tax cuts and fresh government spending.

With growth averaging just over 2 percent, this expansion has avoided major excesses, helping it keep chugging along. Demand looks fairly solid and economists see a tax-driven rebound restoring momentum after a first-quarter slowdown.

The Conference Board’s leading economic index, a broad measure of the U.S. outlook, shows growth is on course for another decent run, according to Ed Yardeni, founder of Yardeni Research Inc.

“This expansion has a shot at the record books,” he wrote in a note to clients.

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