The US economy accelerated in the second quarter of this year with growth hitting an annual rate of 4.1 percent. This will allow president Donald Trump to claim a win of his policies .
The annualized rate of gains in gross domestic product was just shy of the 4.2 percent median forecast in a Bloomberg survey. It followed first-quarter growth of 2.2 percent that was revised from 2 percent, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Consumer spending grew 4 percent, more than estimated, while nonresidential business investment climbed at a 7.3 percent clip.
Trump seized the chance to declare his policies, including the biggest tax overhaul since the Reagan era, a success, calling the data “amazing” and “very sustainable.” The likelihood is nevertheless that the pace of expansion will slow as the effects of tax cuts fades, companies feel the pinch of a trade war and the Federal Reserve raises interest rates further.
Illustrating the volatility of some elements of GDP, net exports contributed 1.06 percentage point to the pace of growth, the most since 2013, partly on a surge in soybean shipments ahead of retaliatory tariffs. Inventories subtracted 1 point, the most since 2014, Commerce said, citing soybean stocks as well as those of drugs and sundries and petroleum and related products.
Fed policy makers are expected to continue their gradual pace of interest-rate hikes aimed at keeping the economy from overheating, without moving so fast that they could choke off growth. The dollar and yields on 10-year Treasuries declined after the report, which also showed inflation excluding food and energy was lower than estimated.