"It takes 18 months to turn the economy around." - ??

People keep saying this to me as if it was some universally understood truth, yet I’ve never seen any evidence to support this claim from anyone who didn’t have a political axe to grind, or ox to gore. So my questions are these:

Who said it originally?

Has any reputable economist, or anyone else without an agenda, ever supported this theory? If so, can anyone provide a cite?

Please keep in mind that this is the forum for factual answers.

Thanks muchly.

Since I am not an economist this answer is strictly from personal experience. Actually I can give a better example of the fact that the economy does not go south in a big hurry. Before the last “recession”, I was talking to a friend of mine about how business was not what it used to be and the future didn’t look too good. He not only agreed with me, but told me he knew that business was slowing down, even before the date I was talking about. He was in the trucking business and said anytime shipments start dropping off it is a signal that the economy is cooling off. Large companies that had been shipping 10 truckloads a week were shipping only 8 truckloads. This conversation was sometime in Sept/Oct. before the last election, by the next March business was so bad in our industry that I decided to sell out (to a company whose main business hadn’t yet been effected) and retire.

Depending on what industry you are in the drop-off or recovery can come more quickly than the whole economy drops-off or recovers. Some industries drop off earlier, but as in the case of trucking will started picking up sooner than others that lag behind. The statements you are talking about concern the entire economy, not individual industries.