GDP Rose More Than Expected; Stocks Top Record Again
U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.1% in the second quarter of 2019, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 3.1%, but many forecasts had expected GDP to decelerate more sharply.
As recently as Thursday, the GDPNow forecast designed by the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank, some of the world's best economists, updated its growth projection to 1.3%. To be clear, the Atlanta Fed's real time forecast of 1.3% on Thursday underestimated the actual rate of growth announced by the government on Friday morning by 60%! An independent real-time projection by the New York Federal Reserve Bank, for 1.5% growth, also sharply underestimated actual second quarter growth of 2.1%.
Consumer spending — which accounts for 70% of U.S. economic activity — fueled the confounding growth. Personal consumption expenditures spiked.
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