GDP growth slowed at end-2018 and in first quarter 2019 to near trend of about 2%. Growth slipped in the fourth quarter of 2018 to 2.2%, from a robust 3.8% growth averaged over the middle two quarters of the year. The government shutdown pulled growth lower by 0.1 percentage point.
Contributing to a material slowing in GDP growth are slowing global growth, slightly higher interest rates, and less boost from rising stock prices, the effects of recent tariffs, a turn from inventory building to shedding, and the approach to capacity constraints. The slowing is expected to be broad-based, with softening growth also seen across consumer spending and business investment.