Trump's hopes fade as GDP growth fails to beat forecasts

Cathal McNaughton  REUTERS

Cathal McNaughton REUTERS

British economic growth unexpectedly picked up speed in the last three months of 2017, according to official data which showed the impact of Brexit still weighing on the economy but not as heavily as once feared by investors. Ecuador will grow by 2.2% in 2018, down from the estimated 2017 rate of 2.7%.

"Growth still looks lacklustre - and somewhat unevenly distributed - with the year-on-year figure of 1.5% the weakest since the first quarter of 2013", he said. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, turned up.

BRITAIN'S economy is growing faster than before, it emerged today - defying Brexit doom-mongering.

The average growth in GDP over former President Barack Obama's second term? 2.2%.

But it underperformed in the fourth quarter. The US economy has grown every year since 2009 when it contracted 2.8 per cent.

Current-dollar GDP increased 4.1 per cent, or $762.3 billion, in 2017 to a level of $19,386.8 billion, compared with an increase of 2.8 per cent, or $503.8 billion, in 2016.

The economy has offered relief to a White House struggling with poor polling numbers, the ongoing investigation into potential campaign collusion with Russian Federation and the steady string of controversies and scandals that surround the commander in chief.

At a time when the global economy is motoring, it ought to be doing better. And many predict that the stock market is due for a downward correction as investors sell off stocks that they believe can not climb any higher.

That comparison is significant since 2012 was the year in which the eurozone debt crisis was at its most intense and in which there were, before the glorious London Olympics, fears that the United Kingdom was about to suffer a "double dip" recession.

'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.

Gross domestic product grew at 2.6% annual rate in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday. The Federal Reserve is expected to continue increasing interest rates under incoming Fed chair Jerome Powell, who was confirmed by the Senate earlier this week. The first quarter estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) tends to be biased downwards because of residual seasonality -seasonal trends that remain in the data despite seasonal adjustment. In total, personal spending contributed 2.58 percentage points to real GDP growth-suggesting that the other components of headline growth essentially offset one another.

Imports, which subtract from GDP, rose by 13.9 percent in the November-to-December period, marking the largest quarterly increase in more than seven years. "That bodes very well for 2018".

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