U.S. GDP Growth Unrevised At 2.1%, In Line With Estimates

A report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday showed the pace of U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2019 was unrevised from the initial estimate.

The Commerce Department said real gross domestic product increased by 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter, unchanged from the estimate provided last month and in line with economist estimates.

The report showed upward revisions to private inventory investment, exports, federal government spending, and residential fixed investment

However, the upward revisions were offset by downward revisions to non-residential fixed investment, consumer spending, and state and local government spending and an upward revision to imports.

The GDP growth in the fourth quarter was unchanged from the third quarter, although a note from economists at Oxford Economics said the underlying details of the report paint a softer picture ahead of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Nearly three quarters of the GDP advance came from a temporary collapse in imports, while business investment contracted sharply and consumers spent more cautiously,” the economists said.

“The most recent three quarters mark the economy’s worst performance since the 2016 slump,” they added. “And, stripping out trade, inventories and government spending, final sales to domestic purchasers rose only 1.3% – the weakest advance since 2015.”

The report said imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, plummeted by 8.6 percent in the fourth quarter after jumping by 1.8 percent in the third quarter.

The Commerce Department also said the pace of consumer spending growth slowed to 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter from 3.2 percent in the third quarter.

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