THE BASIS POINT

If it feels like you missed out on a booming economy, it’s because there wasn’t one

Really Smart People say the economy is strong, but a lot of us are still struggling to find cheap places to live or make enough money.

If the economy is booming, why does it feel like it’s passing us by?

Well, according to new research by Bank of America, it’s because the economy never really boomed.

Apparently, the traditional boom-bust business cycle softened after the 2008 crash, and instead of an economic boom, we’re in a prolonged “soft patch,” which is a long period of weaker growth.

The above chart shows how much the economy grew each month in different time periods. Every month from 2009 on is in the upper right “soft patch” section, since growth rates were chill rather than explosive. If you’re wondering where the nightmare year of 2008 is on this graph, BOA cut it out, probably because it wrecked the curve.

Now, since the economy is starting to slow down again, those Really Smart People don’t think that we’ll have a true boom before the next crash (even though we cut taxes on the rich?!).

The good news? When the next recession comes it’ll be more like a normal dip cycle than a 2008-style crash.

This soft patch is nearly the longest period of growth since World War II, and Bank of America’s economists think there’s still plenty of gas in its tank.

This is the new normal, so don’t delay your life and financial plans waiting around for a boom.