GDP Growth Beat Economists Expectations

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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The U.S. economy grew at a 2.3 percent rate in the first quarter of 2018, according to a Bureau of Economic Analysis report released Friday.

Friday’s report is the first look at economic growth in the second year of President Donald Trump’s first term in the White House. Economists widely anticipated the economy to grow at 2 percent, a downgrade from the fourth quarter of 2017 when the economy grew at 2.9 percent.

The Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank ahd predicted 5.4 percent GDP growth for the first-quarter of 2018, up over one percent from its original Jan. 29 first-quarter prediction. 5.4 percent growth would be the highest growth rate since the third quarter of 2003.

First-quarter GDP figures are typically lower because of seasonal adjustments, as was the case with the first-quarter of 2016 and 2017. All in all, Friday’s figures are in-line with the general trend of economic growth since the Great Recession. The U.S. economy grew at a steady 2 percent rate over the past decade.

Trump promised during his 2016 campaign to bring about sustained 4 percent or higher GDP growth and create tens of millions of new jobs within his first term in office.

While 4 percent economic growth isn’t likely, economists expect GDP growth to float around 3 percent for final three quarters of 2018.

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