US Growth in Q4 Slowed Down for a 2.2% Gain

Economic growth in the U.S. slowed in the final part of 2018, with GDP posting a gain of just 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

The final reading was in line with expectations of economists surveyed by Dow Jones. That was down from the previous estimate of 2.6 percent and leaves full-year growth at 2.9 percent. Third-quarter growth registered 3.4 percent. In all, 2018 was the best year for the economy since 2015 and well above the 2.2 percent increase in 2017. The economy grew 3 percent when compared with the fourth quarter of 2017.

Consumer spending as well as government expenditures at the state and national levels and nonresidential fixed investment all were revised down and subtracted from the GDP. Imports also were revised lower amid continuing tensions between the U.S. and its global trading partners.

However, exports also rose, helping fuel the GDP rise.

Overall, the fourth quarter increase tied for the slowest gain since the first quarter of 2018.

Nonresidential fixed investment, a key sign of business activity, rose 5.4 percent, up from 2.5 percent in the third quarter. Equipment spending increased 6.6 percent but investment in structures fell 3.9 percent, its second consecutive decline. Residential investment also fell, down 4.7 percent for its fourth straight negative quarter.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza