US economic growth in Q4 revised up to 2.9 percent

Associated Press


The U.S. economy grew at a solid 2.9 percent annual rate in the final three months of last year, a sharp upward revision that caps three quarters of the fastest growth in more than a decade. The Trump administration is hoping the economy will accelerate further this year, aided by sizable tax cuts and increased government spending.

The gross domestic product, the country’s total output of goods and services, grew at a faster clip than its previous estimate of 2.5 percent, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

That 2.9 percent fourth quarter advance followed gains of 3.1 percent in the second quarter and 3.2 percent in the third quarter. It’s the strongest nine-month stretch of growth in a dozen years, since the economy expanded at rates of 3.7 percent, 3.5 percent and 4.3 percent from the third quarter of 2004 through the first quarter of 2005

Wednesday’s revision, the government’s third and final look at GDP in the quarter, was better than analysts had been expecting.

“The economy’s wheels were spinning faster than we thought in the fourth quarter,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York. “There is nothing in today’s report that holds the economy back from its historical run to beat the 10-year expansion of the Clinton years in the 1990s.”

The current expansion is already the third-longest on record and will become the second-longest, surpassing the expansion of the 1960s next month. If it lasts through June 2019, it will become the new record-holder, surpassing the 10-year expansion from March 1991 to March 2001.

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