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The post–World War I recession was an economic recession that hit much of the world in the aftermath of World War I. In many nations, especially in North America, this growth continued during the war as nations mobilized their economies to fight the war in Europe. After the war ended, however, the global economy began to decline. In the United States 1918–1919 saw a modest economic retreat, but the next year saw a mild recovery. A more severe recession hit the United States in 1920 and 1921 (see: Depression of 1920–21) when the global economy fell very sharply.

North America[]

In North America the recession immediately following World War I was extremely brief, lasting for only 7 months from August 1918 to March 1919.[1] A second, much more severe recession, sometimes labeled a depression, began in January 1920. Several indexes of economic activity suggest the recession was moderately severe. The Axe-Houghton Index of Index of Trade and Industrial Activity declined by 14.1 percent in this recession and by −31 percent in the Panic of 1907). The Babson index of physical volume of business activity declined by 28.6 percent in this recession (compared to −32.3 percent in 1921 recession and −22.7 in the Panic of 1907). [2]

See also[]


  1. US Business Cycle Expansions and Contractions, National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved on September 22, 2008.
  2. Zarnowitz, Victor (1996). Business Cycles. University of Chicago Press. 

Further reading[]

  • Romer, Christina D. (1988). "World War I and the postwar depression A reinterpretation based on alternative estimates of GNP". pp. 91–115. Digital object identifier:10.1016/0304-3932(88)90171-7. 

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