Our cover this week celebrates America’s longest spell of uninterrupted economic growth since the middle of the 19th century. But the good news contains a puzzle. On the one hand, the stockmarket is up 19% so far this year and America’s economy created 224,000 new jobs in June, more than twice as many as needed to keep up with the growth of the workforce. On the other, bond markets have been sounding the alarm, as long-term interest rates sink below short-term ones, often a harbinger of a downturn. Manufacturing firms are wary and indices of business confidence are tumbling. Solving this mystery matters: if America stumbles, the world will, too, but if it can extend the cycle the rules for how all rich economies behave may need rewriting.


Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief