United States gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the “advance” estimate from the Department of Commerce, down from 3.2 percent the previous quarter.
U.S. GDP grew at an annual rate of 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the “advance” estimate from the Department of Commerce.
United States gross domestic product (GDP) – the broadest measure of a nation’s overall economic health – grew at an annual rate of 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the “advance” advance estimate from the Department of Commerce.
The fourth quarter growth rate was down slightly from a revised 3.2 percent the previous quarter and 3.1 percent in the second quarter of 2017, but still up from the 1.2 percent rate seen in the first quarter.
Should the estimate hold, real GDP will have increased 2.3 percent in 2017 compared with a 1.5 percent growth rate in 2016 and 2.9 percent increase in 2015.
GDP is a calculation of the value of the goods and services produced by a nation’s economy minus the value of the goods and services used up in production.
The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) said the deceleration in GDP growth in the fourth quarter reflected a decrease in private inventory investment, as well as an increase in imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP. Those decreases were partly offset by increases in personal consumption expenditures, exports, nonresidential fixed investment, state and local government spending, federal government spending, and residential fixed investment.
Real exports of goods and services grew 6.9 percent in the fourth quarter, according to BEA, compared with a 2.1 percent increase in the third quarter. Imports, meanwhile, jumped 13.9 percent, compared with a 0.7 percent decline the previous quarter.
In addition, the most recent data from Commerce indicates new orders for durable goods in December 2017 grew 2.9 percent to $249.4 billion following a revised 1.7 percent increase in November. The December increase in durable goods orders was the fourth in five months.
Commerce’s Census Bureau noted that transportation equipment, also up in four of the last five months, drove the increase in durable goods orders, rising 7.4 percent to $87.2 billion for the month. Excluding orders for transportation equipment, total durable goods orders ticked up 0.6 percent in December.
Shipments of manufactured durable goods, now up in seven of the last eight months, grew 0.6 percent to $246.8 billion in December following a revised 1.3 percent increase in November and a 0.5 percent uptick in October.