Sunday, 16 December, 2018

United States annual growth rate revised up to 3% in second quarter

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Kelvin Reese | 31 August, 2017, 01:37

The trade picture has improved so far in 2017 relative to challenges seen in each of the past two years, with positive contributions to real GDP in both the first and second quarters.

Many economists had been forecasting growth in the current July-September quarter would be around 3 per cent. The revision to consumer spending was the highlight of this report, indicating that the consumer, helped along by strong job and income growth, has definitely woken up after the first quarter lull.

Real GDP in the second quarter of 2017 did show an increase from the previous year, when GDP expanded at 1.1 percent in the second quarter of 2016, according to the second estimate. Increases in personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and in nonresidential fixed investment were larger than previously estimated.

The Commerce Department's second estimate of Q2 gross domestic product released Wednesday printed at 3%.

Meanwhile separate figures released by payrolls provider ADP showed the United States private sector added 237,000 jobs in August, massively overshooting analyst predictions of less than 185,000 and adding further support to the dollar. Economists saw a limited impact on growth from Hurricane Harvey, which devastated parts of Texas.

"The ADP overshoot in August compared to our payroll model suggests we should move our forecast for Friday up to about 220K from 200K", said Ian Shepherdson, Chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. Goods exports increased by 2.3 percent in the second quarter, with goods imports up by 1.6 percent.

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Spending by governments, which had grown 0.7% in the initial estimate, was revised to a decline at a 0.3% rate. The average for the first half of 2017 was 2.1%.

The revision lifted the annual GDP growth rate from the earlier 2.6% estimate, with growth accelerating from a slow start to the year.

The higher figure in this revision stemmed largely from stronger consumer and business spending than estimated in the advance release.

The strength of consumer and business spending is expected to continue into the third quarter.

The upgrade was also considerably higher than preliminary estimates of 2.6 per cent, and also represented a considerably faster expansion than economists had expected, at 2.7 per cent.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has previously stated that GDP growth of 3 percent would be very achievable for the Trump administration though tax and regulatory reforms.

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