The US economy finishes off 2017 on a firm footing

The US economy finishes off 2017 on a firm footing

The US economy finishes off 2017 on a firm footing

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) earlier this month slashed the UK's growth outlook from 1.6% to 1.5% for 2019, the year it quits the European Union. Nominal GDP growth over 5 percent and further unemployment rate declines are expected to push average hourly wage increase over 3 percent in 2018, an acceleration from 2.5 percent now.

Choose your comparator. You might, like Bank of England governor Mark Carney, point out that the economy is about 1% smaller than the Bank predicted it would be before the Brexit vote.

Sterling initially rose following the news, having made gains of 1% to just shy of 1.43 against the dollar and rising to 1.14 against the euro but enthusiasm waned by the afternoon.

"But it's certainly fair to say the economy has performed much better than many feared in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, boosted by the rising tide of a global recovery which has lifted all boats".

However, the result is subject to revision by the commerce department as more data become available.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he said: "These are excellent last quarter figures". The market now has an expectation of one increase in August.

"America is open for business, and we are competitive once again", he said. Compared to 2016, the slowdown of the economy is marginal.

Ben Bretell, senior economist at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "Despite today's better-than-expected number, the overall picture is one of muddling through". But with low unemployment, modest inflation, a booming stock market and renewed strength around the globe, the US appears to be in a sustained pickup - for now.

"But we are not complacent, so we are investing billions in transport, housing, digital connectivity and skills to build an economy fit for the future".

Better still, business investment was up 6.8 per cent, with improved spending on equipment. Other experts were more bullish.

"The economy continues to hum along", said Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody's Analytics West Chester, Pa., who accurately projected 2.6 percent GDP growth. "And we're going to be hitting 4 soon, and then we're going to be hitting 5s". "The British economy has thrived".

Likewise, federal and state and local government spending increased 3.5 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively, in this report, with government expenditures adding another 0.50 percentage points to top-line growth.

"The boost to the economy at the end of the year came from a range of services including recruitment agencies, letting agents and office management", said Darren Morgan, head of GDP at the ONS.

In another sense, though, the increase in imports is a measure of the state of American manufacturing - that USA companies are not yet operating at a level of efficiency or quality that allows them to compete as strongly as we'd like to see against foreign producers.

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