In late 1976 and in late 1977, various professional forecasters concluded an end to the business expansion was at hand. But all major sectors continued to make major gains. Dips in indicators of activity that were pointed to as heralding a general decline proved to be temporary or even illusory as statistical series were later revised upward.
Again in late 1978, predictions of a recession were common. Increases in employment, retail sales, and output seemed to be slowing down. But as more data has accumulated, the picture looks brighter. Growth in real GNP, in fact, appears to have accelerated in the fourth quarter. Personal income, farm income, and corporate profits were all sharply higher than a year before.