GDP Far Exceeds Expectations in First Quarter

April 26, 2019

The U.S. economy grew at a much faster pace than expected in the first three months of the year, with gross domestic product expanding by 3.2 percent. This far outpaces the 2.5 percent growth that economists had forecast, and is the strongest first quarter since 2015.

The growth was driven by increases in exports and decreases in imports. One area of potential concern was muted growth in consumer spending. Consumer spending, which accounts for nearly 70 percent of GDP, was up just 1.2 percent for the quarter, down from a 2.5 percent increase in Q4 2018. Americans are purchasing fewer big-ticket items like vehicles. Housing continues to see sluggish growth as well.

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