The economy expanded at a 2.9 percent pace in 2018, the highest since 2015, but growth in the last quarter was weaker than previously reported, the Commerce Department announced today.
In the last quarter of last year, the growth rate of the United States Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 2.2%, below the 2.6% indicated in the previous estimate, which did not affect the annual growth rate, which was 2.9%.
By 2017, the growth of the American economy had been of 2.2%. Although last year it stood at 2.9%, it did not reach the goal of the administration led by Donald Trump, who had promised an expansion above 3%.
In 2018, after a second quarter with solid growth of 4.2% and a slowdown to 3.4% in the third quarter, the slowdown of the world's largest economy was sharper by the end of the year.
In December, shutdowns, partial closure of federal government services, stock market volatility, and trade tension appear to have penalized economic activity.
Consumer spending, which is the engine of the US economy, increased 2.5% instead of the 2.8% previously mentioned. The increase over the previous three months was 3.5%.
Investment growth despite being at 5.4% was slightly below that indicated before and the real estate market fell more (-4.7%) than had been anticipated, having already fallen in the previous quarter (-3, 5%).
In the commercial framework, exports increased by 1.8% (plus 0.2 points) and imports increased less.
By 2019, growth forecasts differ greatly. In its budget design, the US administration anticipates a 3.2% expansion, but a business survey points to 2.4% and the Federal Reserve (central bank) predicts that the GDP increase will be 2, 1%.
The US administration will publish the first growth estimate for the first quarter of this year on April 26.