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3rd-quarter growth again revised down ahead of projected slowdown

By Nicholas Sakelaris
3rd-quarter growth again revised down ahead of projected slowdown
Experts predict the U.S. economy could slow down in 2019 and beyond with a minor recession on the horizon. Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. economy grew more than 3 percent in the third quarter, but not as much as previously reported, officials said Friday.

The GDP grew 3.4 percent in Q3, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said in a revised report Friday. This is the third estimate for third quarter growth and includes more complete data. Second quarter growth was 4.2 percent.

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Personal consumption expenditures were revised down in this third estimate while private inventory investment was revised up.

Economists predict a slight slowdown in 2019, when it's expected the GDP will grow by a more modest 2.6 percent, a survey by Wolters Kulwer Blue Chip Economic Indicators said. While job growth could slow down, consumer spending and wage growth will continue on a positive trajectory.

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"This is still a robust economy," Barclays economist Jonathan Millar told USA Today.

Nearly half of U.S. CFOs believe the economy will enter a recession by the end of 2019, a Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook study found.

"The end is near for the near-decade-long-burst of global economic growth," John Graham, a finance professor at Duke's Fuqua School of Business and director of the survey, said. "The U.S. outlook has declined, and moreover the outlook is even worse in many other parts of the world, which will lead to softer demand for U.S. goods."

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Forces that will push the economy down include fading effects of a federal tax cut, spending increases, steady Federal Reserve interest rate hikes and the Trump administration's trade fight with China.

"Next year is going to be all about finding a soft landing zone," Oxford Economics economist Greg Daco told USA Today.

Economists surveyed by the National Association of Business Economics put the odds of a recession in 2019 at 10 percent. The odds increase to 50 percent by 2021.

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There's also less risk for consumers this time versus the housing bubble crash of a decade ago.

"Household and businesses, borrowers and lenders, savers and spenders ... have been more cautious this time," said Joshua Feinman, chief global economist of DWS.

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