Here comes GDP ...

  • The Commerce Department was expected to say the US economy grew at a slower but still solid pace at the beginning of 2019.
  • Economists forecast that gross domestic product, a measure of all the goods and services produced in a country, expanded at an annualized rate of 2.3% in the first quarter.
  • The economy grew at a pace just under the Trump administration’s goal of 3% last year, boosted by the $US1.5 trillion tax cuts passed in 2017 and increased public spending.

The Commerce Department was expected to say on Friday that the economy grew at a slower but still solid pace at the beginning of 2019.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast that gross domestic product, a measure of all the goods and services produced in a country, expanded at an annualized rate of 2.3% in the first quarter. In the fourth quarter, growth came in at 2.2%.

Consumer spending got off to a rough start following the five-week federal government shutdown that ended in late January, which was the longest in history. But it appeared to stage a recovery in March, with confidence ticking higher.

A jump in American exports in recent months, potentially a reflection of companies frontloading products because of trade tensions, has also raised growth expectations.

“Net foreign trade will offset the weakness in consumption,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

The economy grew at a pace just under the Trump administration’s goal of 3% last year, boosted by the $US1.5 trillion tax cuts passed in 2017 and increased public spending.

But as the effects of stimulus measures fade and growth in other major economies cools, activity is widely expected to slow in the coming months.

Friday’s reading is preliminary; a second estimate for the first quarter will be released May 30.

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