Apr 26, 2019

2019 Q1: Economy Grew At A 3.2 Percent Rate (Advance Estimate)

Post by Freedom Partners

This morning, the U.S. Department of Commerce released its first estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2019, and announced that the U.S. economy expanded at an annualized rate of 3.2 percent, up from the 2.2 percent growth rate seen during the fourth quarter of 2018, and down 0.2 percentage points from the third quarter. Today’s report also marked the fastest first quarter growth rate seen since 2015 when the economy grew at a 3.3 percent pace.

Additionally, today’s release provides another look at how the economy has changed during the past 27 months. Overall, annualized quarterly growth averaged 2.8 percent, and real after-tax income per person increased by $1,841. Further, the report showed the economy recorded its 20th quarter of consecutive growth and marked nearly 10 years into the current economic expansion.

However, tariffs imposed over the past year threaten to undermine future economic growth, already having burdened American businesses, workers, and consumers with higher costs. A recent paper from economists at Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Princeton University, and Columbia University estimated that tariffs imposed by the administration last year cost the economy $1.4 billion per month. Tariffs benefit only a few politically connected industries at the expense of most consumers and businesses. Lowering trade barriers will improve 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 27 months.

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.