Even in the midst of the longest bull market in history, Americans have every right to be nervous. The Great Recession of 2007 to 2009 was the worst financial crisis in the United States since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Still fresh in our memories are the collapse of the housing market, major banks on the brink of failure, steep stock market losses, withered up retirement portfolios and double-digit unemployment.
While the economy has regained full strength since the last recession ended in 2009, no one expects those gains to last forever. The past 50 years have taught us that every heady economic high must have a soul-searching low. Nearly 10 years into steady economic growth, economists and investors are anxiously looking for signs that the party will soon be over.
If you hope to predict the economic future — good luck, even "experts" routinely get it wrong — it's time to familiarize yourself with the clearest warning signs of a looming recession. Here are seven.