The current economic expansion is the longest in recorded U.S. history, but it has not been characterized by rapid economic growth. From the beginning of the current economic expansion in the third quarter of 2009 to the second quarter of 2017, this expansion had the lowest economic growth rate of any expansion since World War II, averaging 2.2%. For the next five quarters, growth accelerated to 3.1%. However, growth has slowed since, averaging 2.1% over the next four quarters beginning in the fourth quarter of 2018. The slower growth rate has been widespread, but has been particularly concentrated in business investment and exports. Private forecasters expect this slower pace to continue in 2020. A similar growth pattern has not been observed in labor markets, as monthly employment growth was only slightly lower in the slower-growth period than in the faster-growth period.