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United States (US) GDP Growth Forecast

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. 

To learn more, visit the US Economic Service.

Key US GDP Forecast Drivers

  • Consumer spending growth was solid at 2.5%, but that masked an unexpectedly weak December. 
  • Nonresidential investment, which had slowed sharply in the third quarter following a strong first half in 2018, rebounded to grow at a respectable 5.4% pace. 
  • Net exports declined much less in the fourth quarter than had been expected. 
  • Import growth fell back to a 2.0% pace and exports, which declined in the third quarter, turned up to rise at a 1.8% rate US growth to slow in 2019 to trend-like 2% 

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