The 1990s economic boom in the United States was an extended period of economic prosperity, during which GDP increased continuously for almost ten years (the longest recorded expansion in the history of the United States). It commenced after the end of the early 1990s recession in March 1991, and ended in March 2001 with the start of the early 2000s recession, following the bursting of the dot com bubble.

End of the boom

Despite the concerns, it was during this time that talk of a "New Economy" emerged, where inflation and unemployment were low and strong growth coincided. Some even spoke of the end of the business cycle, where economic growth was perpetual. In April 2000, unemployment dropped to 3.8%, and was below 4% September–December 2000. For the whole 1990-2000 period, roughly 23,672,000 jobs were created. Hourly wages had increased by a strong 10.1% since 1996. But by the fall, the economy began to run out of steam. The Federal Reserve hiked rates to 6.5% in May 2000, and it appeared by late-2000 that the business cycle was not eliminated, but was coming to a crest. Growth faltered, job creation slowed, the stock markets plunged, and the groundwork for the 2001 recession was being laid, thus ending the economic boom of the 1990s.

Year GDP Growth Jobs Created(mil) Deficit/Surplus GDP(trillions)
1990 1.86% 0.311 -$221.2 Billion $5.5
1991 -0.26% -0.858 -$269.3 Billion $5.9
1992 3.4% 1.154 -$290.4 Billion $6.3
1993 2.87% 2.788 -$255.1 Billion $6.6
1994 4.11% 3.851 -$203.2 Billion $7.1
1995 2.55% 2.153 -$164 Billion $7.4
1996 3.79% 2.794 -$107.5 Billion $7.8
1997 4.51% 3.355 -$22 Billion $8.3
1998 4.4% 3.002 $69.2 Billion $8.7
1999 4.87% 3.174 $125.6 Billion $9.3
2000 4.17% 1.948 $236.4 Billion $9.8


According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the 1990s was the longest economic expansion in the history of the United States, lasting exactly ten years from March 1991 to March 2001. It was the best performance on all accounts since the 1961-1969 period. The importance and influence of the financial sector only grew, as demonstrated by the bursting of the Dot-Com Bubble in 2000 followed by a recession in 2001. The effects of the early-2000s recession would continue to be felt through the end of 2003.

See also

Contemporary economics

Contemporary booms