LM Otero / AP
The US economy has grown at a healthy 2.6% in the last three months of 2018, but growth has been significantly lower than it was earlier in the year, the report said. government.
For the full year of 2018, growth was 2.9%, which is slightly below the 3% target envisioned by the Trump administration.
"The economy has surpassed the top of the mountain and lost altitude in the last quarter of 2018, but it's not about to crash. On the contrary, the Flight path ahead seems pretty safe, "says economist Sung Won Sohn.
The fourth quarter figures, which were delayed by one month due to the government shutdown, were higher than expected by many economists. They were boosted by a sharp increase in business investment spending, which rose at an annual rate of 6.2%.
Trump administration officials say the higher than expected figures are a sign of the success of the president's economic agenda.
"President Donald Trump has released American growth at a rate that experts thought impossible, reaching real GDP growth close to 3% in 2018," said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in a statement. "A First America program that prioritizes US jobs, American workers and US industry instead of heavy regulations and unjust trade agreements has revitalized the US economy." America is back. "
Economists have been a little more restrained in their reaction.
"After all, the US economy was not so bad in the last few months of last year – in fact, it was pretty good overall," said Mark Hamrick, Senior Economic Analyst at Bankrate.com .
Nevertheless, the figures show a marked slowdown in growth during the year.
The economy experienced a very strong growth of 4.2% in the second quarter, which many economists have attributed to the 2017 tax cuts.
However, after this initial increase, growth slowed to 3.4% in the third quarter and then continued to slow down at the end of the year.
Many economists believe that growth should continue to moderate in 2019 due to the weakness of Europe and the loss of benefits resulting from tax cuts. The Federal Reserve is now forecasting growth of 2.3% this year.
The slowdown in growth suggests that Fed officials can continue to be patient before deciding to raise their interest rates.