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Author Topic: U.S. Growth Hits 4.1%, Fastest Since 2014  (Read 21 times)
Hydrogen
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July 28, 2018, 10:56:23 AM
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The U.S. economy accelerated to a 4.1 percent pace of growth in the second quarter, the fastest since 2014, letting President Donald Trump claim a win for his policies even though expansion is projected to cool.

The annualized rate of gains in gross domestic product was just shy of the 4.2 percent median forecast in a Bloomberg survey. It followed first-quarter growth of 2.2 percent that was revised from 2 percent, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Consumer spending grew 4 percent, more than estimated, while nonresidential business investment climbed at a 7.3 percent clip.

Trump seized the chance to declare his policies, including the biggest tax overhaul since the Reagan era, a success, calling the data “amazing” and “very sustainable.” The likelihood is nevertheless that the pace of expansion will slow as the effects of tax cuts fades, companies pull back in the face of foreign tariffs or strong dollar and the Federal Reserve raises interest rates further.

“The economy is doing quite well,” said Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. “It’ll be hard to repeat this performance on a sustained basis.”

Illustrating the volatility of some elements of GDP, net exports contributed 1.06 percentage point to the pace of growth, the most since 2013, partly on a surge in soybean shipments ahead of retaliatory tariffs. Inventories subtracted 1 point, the most since 2014, Commerce said, citing soybean stocks as well as those of drugs and sundries and petroleum and related products.

Fed policy makers are expected to continue their gradual pace of interest-rate hikes aimed at keeping the economy from overheating, without moving so fast that they could choke off growth. The dollar and yields on 10-year Treasuries declined after the report, which also showed inflation excluding food and energy was lower than estimated.

‘Great Numbers’
Trump, speaking Friday at the White House, celebrated the report and said the economy is on track to reach an annual growth rate of more than 3 percent. “As the trade deals come in one by one, we’re going to go a lot higher than these numbers, and these are great numbers,” the president said.

Economists’ forecasts for second-quarter GDP, the value of all goods and services produced in the nation, ranged from 3 percent to 5 percent. The GDP estimate is the first of three for the quarter, with the other releases scheduled for August and September when more information becomes available.

With the Friday data, the Commerce Department also released comprehensive GDP revisions going back decades. They showed a higher household-saving rate than previously reported, as well as faster growth in the first quarter of recent years, though the overall narrative of the economy’s performance over the last decade wasn’t much different.

The revisions also showed the economy surpassed $20 trillion in nominal dollars in the first quarter.

Even with the relatively strong pace of growth last quarter, most economists expect expansion to settle back to near its long-run rate, and some have flagged the risk of a recession in two years. While polls and historical trends suggest Democrats are primed for significant gains in November’s midterm elections, voters give Trump high marks for the economy.

GDP Goal
Compared with a year earlier, second-quarter GDP rose 2.8 percent, just shy of the 3 percent mark, which was last reached in 2015. The Trump administration’s official goal is for sustained GDP growth of 3 percent, which would well exceed the average 2.2 percent pace during this expansion and the Fed’s longer-run expectation of 1.8 percent.

One measure that economists look at for a better sense of underlying demand showed strength. Final sales to private domestic purchasers -- which exclude trade, inventories and government outlays -- grew at a 4.3 percent pace, the second- fastest since 2014.

The pace of expansion in consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, exceeded projections for 3 percent and contributed 2.69 percentage points to growth. Purchases of new autos were a major factor, along with spending on health care, housing and utilities and food services and accommodations. That followed a downwardly revised 0.5 percent pace of consumption growth in the prior three months.

In addition to lower taxes, consumers’ purchasing power is benefiting from steady hiring, an unemployment rate that’s near the lowest since 1969, improving finances, relatively low borrowing costs and contained inflation.

Business Investment
The growth in nonresidential business investment contributed almost 1 percentage point to growth though the 7.3 percent pace was slower than the first quarter’s 11.5 percent. Spending on structures advanced 13.3 percent following a 13.9 percent gain in the prior period, while equipment investment cooled to 3.9 percent and intellectual property spending slowed to 8.2 percent.

Housing remained a weak spot in the economy amid signs that the sector is poised for its broadest slowdown in years. Residential investment contracted at a 1.1 percent rate, the fourth decline in five quarters. The drag on overall growth, though, was negligible.

The contribution from net exports reflected a 9.3 percent gain in shipments abroad and a 0.5 percent increase in imports. In addition to soybeans, exports were boosted by petroleum and related products. “Producers may have front-loaded some goods for exports ahead of the tariffs,” JPMorgan’s Feroli said.

Government spending increased at a 2.1 percent rate, adding 0.37 percentage point to growth. Federal outlays rose 3.5 percent, the second-fastest rate since 2014, boosted by defense spending. State and local outlays advanced 1.4 percent.

Spending Power
The data showed consumers’ wallets grew at a slower pace. After- tax incomes adjusted for inflation increased at a 2.6 percent annual pace, after 4.4 percent in the prior quarter. The saving rate fell to 6.8 percent from 7.2 percent, which was revised from 3.3 percent as part of the comprehensive update.

First-quarter gross domestic income, adjusted for inflation, was revised to a 3.9 percent gain from a previously reported 3.6 percent.

Price data in the report indicated that inflation was in line with the Fed’s goal. Excluding food and energy, the central bank’s preferred price index rose at a 2 percent annualized rate last quarter, following 2.2 percent in the first three months of the year.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-27/u-s-gdp-growth-hits-4-1-fastest-since-2014-in-win-for-trump

....

It looks as if positive economic and financial data is being recorded in every area. Record low unemployment. Record low jobless claims. Record economic growth, consumer spending which defies estimates. Etcetera.

Of course some of these economic gains could be negated by the senate recently voting to cut tariffs on chinese goods:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4756979

This could represent part of the reason economists are predicting these economic gains will not continue. Politicians in office may deliberately pass legislation designed to reduce the growth and prosperity of the US economy while simultaneously boosting the economy of china. As they have done for a very long time now.

I hope the USA's economic prosperity will continue. The more disposable income consumers have on tap the more likely they are to buy bitcoin. I wouldn't mind BTC achieving ATH in 2018. $20k was the ATH in 2017. $50k would be a nice improvement for 2018.

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July 28, 2018, 11:48:25 AM
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Everythting is perfect in the US economy.The dollar machine keeps printing and the US debt keeps rising.
This growth will create the new Wall Street or real estate bubble and the global financial crysis will appear on the horizon.The US prosperity doesn`t have any influence over bitcoin.USA continue to be an anti-crypto country.

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