The U.S. economy grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the first three months of 2019 — beating Wall Street’s expectations of 2.5 percent growth — according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The advance in the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic health, marks an acceleration from a 2.2 percent gain in the previous October-December period. Disposable personal income saw a boost of 3 percent. while overall prices grew by 0.8 percent. In the first quarter, inventory rebuilding added 0.7 percentage point to growth, while a falling trade deficit boosted growth by a full percentage point. Consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, slowed to growth at a rate of just 1.2 percent in the first quarter. In particular, spending on durable goods fell at a rate of 5.3 percent, the biggest decline in a decade, led by a sharp drop in light truck sales.
The gain surpassed the 3 percent bar set by President Donald Trump as evidence his economic program is working.
A celebratory President Trump reacted to the figure, tweeting: “Real GDP for First Quarter grew 3.2% at an annual rate. This is far above expectations or projections. Importantly, inflation VERY LOW. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”