US GDP growth hits surprisingly sturdy 3.1% in Q1, Latest Business News - The New Paper

US GDP growth hits surprisingly sturdy 3.1% in Q1

This article is more than 12 months old

WASHINGTON : America's economy grew at a solid 3.1 per cent clip in the first three months of the year, government data showed yesterday, confirming a previous estimate.

The pace of gross domestic product growth marked a significant uptick from the slowdown at the end of last year, despite President Donald Trump's government shutdown. However, the economy is expected to slacken in the second quarter.

The unexpectedly strong quarter was a political boost to Mr Trump, who has hailed the US' economic vigour despite mounting signs that his aggressive trade policies are beginning to weigh on business activity and confidence.

Economists also say major factors that contributed to the strength of the January-March quarter - such as falling imports and inventory building - do not point to underlying momentum in the economy. A bump in military spending also helped support overall growth.

Forecasts for growth in the second quarter of this year currently point to expansion of around 2 per cent.

The US next month is due to mark its longest economic recovery, 10 years after the end of the Great Recession in 2009 - prompting nervous speculation among markets about how much longer it can last. - AFP