U.S. GDP Grows 2.6%, Slower Than Forecast

Donald Trump
The Associated Press

The economy expanded at a slower than expected pace in the fourth quarter.

The U.S. economy rose at a 2.6 percent annualized rate, Commerce Department data showed Friday. Economists had expected gross domestic product to expand at a 3 percent rate.

The slower than expected growth rate dashed hopes that the economy could hit the longest streak of 3 percent or bettter since 2005. Last quarter the economy expanded at 3.2 percent.

Despite the low overall number, consumer spending was robust, rising at a 3.8 percent rate. Business equipment investment grew at the fastest pace in three years.

Although the 2.6 percent expansion was lower than expected, it indicates that the economic growth remained steady at the close of 2017.

“After years of stagnmation, the United States is once against experiencing strong economic growth,” Donald Trump said in a speech in Davos, Switzerland Friday.

Trade was the biggest drag on fourth quarter growth. The trade deficit widened because imports rose at twice the pace of exports. A fall in inventories also subtracted from GDP growth.