U.S. Economy: On the right track

February 2018

Consumers and business powered the economy to an estimated 2.6% growth in GDP during the fourth quarter of 2017. While this fell short of some economists original forecasts of 3% growth, overall during 2017 the economy grew 2.3%, compared to 2016 which only saw a 1.6% growth. This is the longest continued expansion of GDP on record.

Consumer spending accelerated to 3.8% annual pace of growth, the fastest it’s been in almost two years. Business also increased spending on equipment by 11.4% and investment in new housing jumped 11.6%.

The economy continues to hum along,” according to Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody’s Analytics. “This is far from doom and gloom. Businesses are investing aggressively and consumers continue to spend at a very strong pace. We got a bit spoiled by 3 percent-plus growth in the last couple of quarters, but that streak was eventually going to come to an end.”

Recently passed tax cuts for individuals and business are expected to give the economy another major boost in 2018. The Atlanta Federal Reserve is already projecting a very robust first quarter of 2018, stating the U.S. economy is on track to grow at a 5.4% annualized rate.

Image courtesy of Global Business Outlook

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