Dec 21, 2018

2018 Q3: Economy Grew At A 3.4 Percent Rate (Final Estimate)

Post by Freedom Partners

This morning, the U.S. Department of Commerce released its third and final estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) for the third quarter of 2018, and announced that the U.S. economy expanded at an annualized rate of 3.4 percent. This was revised down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s estimate and is down from the 4.2 percent pace reported during the second quarter of 2018, which was the fastest rate since 2014. According to Fox Business, “Growth is still largely being driven by President Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax overhaul, which was signed into law last December and significantly slashed the corporate tax rate, bolstering business investment and increasing consumer confidence.”

Additionally, today’s release provides another look at how the economy has changed during the past seven quarters. Overall, annualized quarterly growth averaged 2.8 percent, and real after-tax income per person increased by $1,556. Further, the economy recorded its 18th quarter of consecutive growth.

However, recently-imposed tariffs threaten to undermine future economic growth, already having burdened American businesses, workers, and consumers with higher costs. Earlier this month, nearly all of the Federal Reserve’s 12 district banks reported concerns from businesses and manufacturers regarding the administration’s trade war. Tariffs benefit only a few politically connected industries at the expense of most consumers and businesses. Lowering trade barriers will improves lives by growing the economy, increasing pay checks, and creating new and better jobs.

Below is an examination of today’s report, detailing what the findings indicate about the U.S. economy during the past 7 quarters.

Note: The Commerce Department updated benchmarks used to compute gross domestic product (GDP) and its components from chained 2009 dollars to chained 2012 dollars, which are reflected in this report.