The U.S. economy is about to enter the third year of an economic expansion that began in May 2020, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research’s business cycle dating committee. A review of employment, production, income and sales metrics shows the economy continues to grow, though inflation has emerged as a serious monetary problem.

Founded in 1920, the NBER is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization recognized within the economics profession as an arbiter of the business cycle. The committee “did not conclude that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity,” a 2021 release states. Rather, “Economic activity is typically below normal in the early stages of an expansion, and it sometimes remains so well into the expansion.”

Popular media often defines recession as two consecutive quarters of negative GDP. The metric was negative for the first two quarters of 2020, around the brief,…

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