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Alexander Chute Economist
Tel: 902-424-5810Email:

December 21, 2018

The US economy grew at 3.4 per cent (seasonally adjusted annualized rate, chained 2012 dollars) in Q3 2018, according to the third estimate by the US BEA. This is 0.1 percentage points lower than the second estimate. Growth in the second quarter was 4.2 per cent. Since Q3 2017, the US real GDP has grown by 3.0 per cent. 

Growth in Q3 2018 reflected positive contributions from personal consumption, inventory investment, government spending and non-residential fixed investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from exports, residential investment and a rise in imports. The deceleration this quarter was due to a downturn in exports and slower growth in non-residential investment and personal consumption.  Imports increased in the third quarter after declining in the previous quarter.  These movements were partially offset by an increase in inventory investment.

Personal consumption continued to expand with growth of 3.5 per cent in Q3 with goods consumption rising 4.3 per cent and services up 3.2 per cent. Residential investment contracted for the third consecutive quarter with a decline of 3.5 per cent.  Non-residential investment was up 2.5 with growth in equipment and intellectual property products offsetting a decline in structures (-3.4 per cent). Private inventory investment increased for the quarter. Real exports decreased 4.9 per cent in Q3 after growth of 9.3 per cent in the previous quarter with the decline occurring in goods exports. Imports were up 9.3 per cent on increases in both goods and services imports.

US nominal GDP growth (including the impacts of rising prices) was 4.9 per cent in Q3, compared to 7.6 per cent growth reported in the second quarter.  The personal consumption expenditure price index increased 1.6 per cent, lower than the 2.0 per cent increase last quarter. 

 Source: US Bureau of Economic Analysis

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