An end of the year 2018 decline in the Gross Domestic Product should be viewed in the context of the larger robust year, says a Department of Commerce official.
Nothing that overall the GDP was up by 3.1 percent for the entire year, Brian Moyer, undersecretary for economic affairs with the Commerce Department, asserted that that 3.1 percent “provides a focused picture of how the economy has grown from the last part of 2017 to the last part of 2018.”
In a statement, Moyer additionally noted that private domestic investment in 2018 grew 7 percent, the fastest growth rate in more than a decade.
Despite those numbers, some economists are predicting a GDP decrease for the rest of this year.
According to the CNBC Fed Survey, the GDP growth rate is pegged at 2.3 percent for the duration of 2019, with an even slower growth rate of just 2.0 percent in 2020.
In the face of that decline, Ben Casselman, a financial analyst writing in the New York Times, suggests that all such numbers should be kept in perspective.
“The fourth quarter slowdown wasn’t as severe as many forecasters had feared,” said Casselman, “and even with the loss of momentum late in the year, 2018 as a whole was among the best years of the decade-long recovery from the Great Recession.”
Analysts have also noted that in the face of the declining GDP, the nation’s construction industry continued to post late 2018 gains, driven partly by a 4.1 percent increase in non-residential buildings, along with a 2.1 percent increase in residential construction.
By Garry Boulard
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