U.S. Outlook: A better end to 2016 and a promising start for 2017

Scott Anderson
Posted by Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

With today’s release of Q4 GDP estimated by the Bureau of Economic Analysis at 1.9% annualized, it’s now official that the U.S. economy got back on track in the second half of 2016.

Graph showing recent rise in business equipment spending.Real GDP growth averaged 2.7% in the second half of 2016, compared to a 1.1% average growth rate in the first half of last year.

For more on these developments, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on Jan. 27.

Key observations:
  • Contributions to the Q4 GDP growth came from a broad spectrum of the economy, including consumer spending, residential construction, and government.
  • Business equipment spending rose 3.1% last quarter, breaking a string of declines in five of the past six quarters.
  • The strong dollar and uneven growth from abroad kept U.S. exports down, falling 4.3% on an annualized basis from Q3.
  • We have increased our forecast for Q1 2017 GDP growth to 2.1% from 2.0%.
Click here to read my full report.

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