World Bulletin / News Desk
The US economy grew significantly faster at the end of 2017 than previously reported, as consumer spending hit a three-year high and business investment rose, the government reported Wednesday.
GDP grew 2.9 percent in the final three months of last year, 0.4 points higher than the prior estimate, the Commerce Department said. And that rate was significantly faster growth than analysts were expecting.
The third and final quarterly estimate, based on a fuller set of data, marked the third quarter in a row at or around President Donald Trump's target of three percent annual growth.
And the new estimate does not account for December's sweeping $1.5 trillion tax cuts, which economists say should boost growth in the near term at least for a short time.
"Consumer spending appears to have had its strongest quarter in three years," Oxford Economics said in a research note, adding that tax cuts and stronger government spending should fuel GDP in 2018.
But for all of 2017 the growth rate was unchanged at a modest 2.3 percent, faster than the 1.5 percent posted in 2016, but still well below Trump's goal and the 2.9 percent expansion seen in 2015.
The Trump administration is counting on an acceleration of growth to pay for the December tax cuts, which are expected to swell the budget deficit and add to the mounting US sovereign debt.
However, economists point to stagnating US productivity and a possible trade war as a drag on growth and warn the tax cuts will drive the Treasury deeper into the red.Last Mod: 28 Mart 2018, 18:20