GDP Growth Revised Down Sharply to 2.2 Percent in 4th Quarter

Retail sales fell sharply in December, one of the factors acting as a drag…

GDP Growth Revised Down Sharply to 2.2 Percent in 4th Quarter

AFP/Lower consumer spending in the final three months of 2018 dragged US economic growth down to 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter, from the 2.6 percent originally reported

(AFP) US economic growth was revised sharply lower for the final three months of 2018, down to 2.2 percent rather than the 2.6 percent originally reported, the government said Thursday.

The Commerce Department said the revision of gross domestic product (GDP) growth came after more complete data were used for the final calculations.

Once lower consumer spending, outlays by state and local governments and business investment were taken into account, the final figure was well below the 2.5 percent economists had forecast.

However, that downward revision did not change the growth rate for the full year, which remains at 2.9 percent, compared to 2.2 percent in 2017, the report said.

Imports, which subtract from growth, also were revised lower in the October-December period, largely due to the falling cost of oil, offsetting some of the other negative factors.

The Commerce Department earlier this month reported that retail sales fell sharply in December, one of the factors acting as a drag on GDP.

The latest report also cited lower spending on recreation goods, vehicles, and health care.

The data collection and release were delayed due to the five-week government shutdown as President Donald Trump demanded funding for a wall on the border with Mexico, which also sapped consumer and business confidence.

The economy in 2019 is not expected to help the White House fulfill its pledge for three percent growth this year, as most economists, including those at the Federal Reserve and International Monetary Fund, project a slowdown.

© Agence France-Presse