© 2022 Lakeshore Public Radio
8625 Indiana Place
Merrillville, IN 46410
(219)756-5656
Header-blue.png
Northwest Indiana - WLPR 89.1 FM
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

U.S. Economy Grew At A Faster Pace Than Earlier Thought

A shopper makes a purchase at the J.C. Penney store in North Riverside, Ill., Nov. 17. U.S. consumer spending grew in the fourth quarter at its fastest pace in three years.
Kamil Krzaczynski
/
Reuters
A shopper makes a purchase at the J.C. Penney store in North Riverside, Ill., Nov. 17. U.S. consumer spending grew in the fourth quarter at its fastest pace in three years.

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.9 percent annual rate in the final three months of 2017, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That's slightly faster than the previous 2.5 percent growth estimate, but slower than the 3.2 percent pace of the third quarter.

Overall, the economy grew 2.3 percent last year, compared with 1.5 percent in 2016. That's well below the 3 percent or higher that the Trump administration is targeting.

The solid fourth quarter was fueled by strong consumer spending, which grew 4 percent — its fastest pace in three years. Gross domestic product growth would have been even faster if consumers hadn't spent so much on imports, which subtract from domestic growth.

Economists say growth is expected to slow in the current quarter but speed up later this year, boosted by tax cuts and higher government spending.

Last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the economic outlook has strengthened in recent months. He cited the stimulus offered by the big tax-cutting bill and said "ongoing job gains are boosting incomes and confidence," while global economic growth "is on a firm trajectory."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

John Ydstie has covered the economy, Wall Street, and the Federal Reserve at NPR for nearly three decades. Over the years, NPR has also employed Ydstie's reporting skills to cover major stories like the aftermath of Sept. 11, Hurricane Katrina, the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. He was a lead reporter in NPR's coverage of the global financial crisis and the Great Recession, as well as the network's coverage of President Trump's economic policies. Ydstie has also been a guest host on the NPR news programs Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. Ydstie stepped back from full-time reporting in late 2018, but plans to continue to contribute to NPR through part-time assignments and work on special projects.