THIS YEAR America’s economy did not get the freshest of starts. A government shutdown, a wobbly stockmarket and concerns that the Federal Reserve would tighten monetary policy too quickly made for a dim outlook for 2019. With the effects of fiscal stimulus fading, and momentum in the global economy ebbing, most expected America’s economic growth to decelerate.
So GDP figures for the first quarter, published on April 26th, were a pleasant surprise. Economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal had been expecting annualised real growth for the quarter of 2.5%. Instead they were treated to a figure of 3.2%. Needless to say, President Donald Trump was pleased, tweeting that the figure was “far above expectations or projections”, and (of course) adding “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN”.