US Economy Grew 2.9 Percent in 2018, Just Shy of Trump’s Goal
Figure fell short of President Donald Trump's goal of a yearly 3 percent growth.
In 2018 the US economy grew at by 2.9 percent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis quarterly report on the gross domestic product, poised for the most robust growth in 13 years.
The impressive figure fell short of President Donald Trump's goal of a nearly 3 percent growth.
But Thursday's report showed GDP increasing at a 2.6 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2018, much better than most analysts expected for the quarter which was right at the beginning of the government shut down.
Most economists anticipate slow growth in the quarters ahead
Federal Reserve officials see GDP growth slowing to around 2.3 percent in 2019, then even further to 2.0 percent in 2020.
What would have likely to have lowered first-quarter growth is the partial government shutdown, though the Congressional Budget Office believes that the effect will fade in coming quarters.
But Trump boosted output last year by raising spending and cutting taxes.
In the years ahead growth is expected to slow as the U.S. population ages.
In one way of looking at the data, though, 2018 economic growth did beat Trump's 3 percent goal. Comparing the fourth quarter of 2018 to the fourth quarter of 2017, the economy grew 3.1 percent.
According to the Washington Examiner: The 2.9 percent figure, in comparison, represents an average of the economy's growth throughout the year.
Thursday's GDP data will be revised in the quarters ahead, and could ultimately be higher or lower.
After years of raising interest rates to get ahead of potential inflation, Fed officials now see the bigger risk as setting rates too high and have signaled that they won't pursue further rate hikes this year.
That decision is a reflection of the maturity of the business cycle and of the few troubling signs that have crept into the economic data.
Thursday's GDP figure gives Trump a much-needed win in an eventful 24-hour period that saw the president’s summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un abruptly fall short, and his former personal lawyer labels him a “con man” before Congress.
Last year, the United States won the title of the 'World’s Most Competitive Economy' at the annual conference at The World Economic Forum in Switzerland.
The conference refrained from awarding the US with the number one spot since 2008 following the aftermath of the financial crisis.
The news came as a record number of new jobs opened up in the United States in August as President Donald Trump's booming economy exhibited no sign of weakening amid an escalating trade war with China and Hurricane Florence-hit Carolinas.