Monday, 27 January, 2020


US GDP revised slightly lower on weaker consumer spending

US GDP revised slightly lower on weaker consumer spending US GDP revised slightly lower on weaker consumer spending
Conrad Doyle | 21 December, 2017, 23:46

The American economy expanded at a 3.2 percent clip during the third quarter of 2017 (July through September), according to the third and final estimate of gross domestic product released this week by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

Weather was also likely a factor in decelerating nonresidential fixed investment spending, which softened from an annualized 6.7 percent growth rate in the second quarter to 4.7 percent in the third quarter.

Congress this week passed a major tax overhaul, giving Trump the biggest legislative achievement of his first year in office.

Clearly the era of unsustainably big government has been bad for the economy.

But at the moment, economists are optimistic about growth prospects. Therefore, net exports added 0.36 percentage points to real GDP growth. Consumer spending was revised down a tick to a still solid 2.2% rate. The average of GDP and GDI was revised to a 2.6% advance, from a previously estimated 2.9% gain. For 2018, economists believe growth will be even better, helped by the boost from the Republican tax cuts and a stronger global economy.

Earlier this year, the BEA published its final estimate for the fourth quarter of 2016 - revealing annual economic expansion of 1.6 percent.

Of course, the bottom line is that the US economy has expanded for two straight quarters by at least 3 percent, and if the current forecast holds, that streak should extend to three consecutive quarters.

But the Federal Reserve last week estimated that the USA economy would grow at 2.5 percent both in 2017 and 2018 even with the tax changes, still below the Trump administration's ambitious growth objective of over three percent.

- Business investment in equipment shot up at a 10.8 percent rate, the best showing since the third quarter of 2014.

Looking at the underlying data, personal consumption expenditures slowed a little from 3.3 percent annual growth in the second quarter to 2.2 percent in the third quarter.

The Commerce Department said the downward revision to the pace of GDP growth primarily reflected slightly slower than previously estimated consumer spending growth.

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