Ten Year Growth Rates

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Ten Year Growth Rates

Ten Year Growth Rate

This chart shows the 10 year growth rate of the S&P 500, using monthly average data. We have spliced the Cowles Commission average on so that the can show over a century of data (raw data starts in 1871, the first 10 year change is 1881). The growth is based on price appreciation only, dividends and inflation are not accounted for.

In this case, we appear to be seeing high growth, but not unprecedented growth. Don't be deceived. Ten years ago (1987) saw another growth spike. The 1987 crash is about to drop out of the calculation. If stock prices remain unchanged between now and December 1997, the ten year growth rate will be 3% above current levels (14.5%), rivalling any high on the chart.

Even more remarkable, the ten year growth rate has never held this high for this long. It has not dipped below 8.8% since October 1986 (131 months). Since January 1987 there were only two months (10/90 & 11/90) that were even below 9.3%. The closest match would be 4/54-5/65 (134 months) when the ten year growth held above 8.5%. That preceded a very poor time to own stocks.


Ten Year Constant Dollar Growth Rate

This chart shows the 10 year growth rate of the contstant dollar S&P 500, using monthly average data. We have spliced the Cowles Commission average on so that the can show over a century of data (raw data starts in 1871, the first 15 year change is 1881). The constant dollar S&P 500 is adjusted for inflation by dividing by the Consumer Price Index. The most recent value of CPI is carried forward (since CPI is released after the fact). Prior to 1913, annual CPI figures are interpolated to monthly values. The growth is based on price appreciation only, dividends are not accounted for.

The 1987 crash is about to drop out of the calculation as well. If stock prices and the CPI remain unchanged between now and December 1997, the ten year growth rate will be 3% above current levels (10.8%). That's greater than 97.8% of the readings on the chart. Not unprecedented, but is it sustainable?

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Last modified: April 06, 2005