US GDP Growth Unexpectedly Downwardly Revised To 3.2% In Q3

US GDP Growth Unexpectedly Downwardly Revised To 3.2% In Q3

US GDP Growth Unexpectedly Downwardly Revised To 3.2% In Q3

The economy expanded at a rate of 3.1 percent in the second quarter. While the tax overhaul ready for President Donald Trump's signature may give a boost in the coming year, economists say his goal of 3% sustained annual growth remains a challenge.

Economic activity in the U.S. unexpectedly grew at a slightly slower than previously estimated rate in the third quarter, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday. The slight revision won't change views that the third quarter was pretty impressive, especially given that a series of hurricanes were drags on growth.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, is forecasting growth of 2.9 percent for 2018, reflecting tax cuts that he predicts will add 0.4 percentage point to GDP next year.

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GDP growth has averaged around 2 percent in the current recovery, which is now in its ninth year and is the third longest in USA history. Trump is expected to soon sign the legislation, which has $1.5 trillion in tax cuts. Growth in the third quarter was also boosted by an accumulation of unsold goods and a rebound in government investment. Business investment was robust in the quarter, with revisions to components ultimately amounting to a wash compared with the previous report. Consumer spending was revised down a tick to a still solid 2.2% rate.

Personal consumption expenditures, which accounts for about two-thirds of the USA economy, increased at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the third quarter, slightly lower than 2.3 percent previously estimated.

Data on retail sales suggests consumer spending accelerated in October and November.

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The government said after-tax corporate profits surged at a 5.7 percent rate last quarter instead of the previously reported 5.8 percent rate.

Housing construction fell for a second quarter, but the drop was not as severe as previously reported. Undistributed profits jumped at a 13.9 percent rate after declining for two straight quarters, suggesting that companies were anticipating deep tax cuts.

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