Research - MARCH 30, 2017

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Q4 GDP growth revised up to 2.1%

by Loretta Clodfelter

U.S. economic growth was stronger in the fourth quarter than initially reported. According to the third estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis March 30, U.S. gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter (in February, GDP growth had been estimated at 1.9 percent for the same period).

The BEA notes personal consumption expenditures in the fourth quarter had increased more than previously estimated.

Overall, however, GDP growth in the fourth quarter had slowed compared with the previous quarter; GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter.

Looking ahead, President Trump has said his economic policies and proposals will lead to GDP growth of 4 percent, but most economists do not think that is very likely. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has forecast GDP growth for the first quarter at 2.7 percent, while the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has a forecast of only 1.0 percent.

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