Growth rises faster than expected at end of 2017

Venezuela economy crisis

And 2.6 percent growth is not considered a bad number, but it does underline how hard it will be for the administration to match its lofty promises.

The report said consumer spending surged up by 3.8% in the fourth quarter after increasing by 2.2% in the third quarter.

The U.S. economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said in its initial estimate on January 26. The rate of economic growth for the 2017 calendar year was 2.3 percent, compared to 1.5 percent in 2016.

Imports, which subtract from GDP, rose by 13.9 percent in the November-to-December period, marking the largest quarterly increase in more than seven years. Rising imports underscore the challenges that the Trump administration faces in its quest to boost annual GDP growth to 3%.

Consumption accounted for 2.6% of the gain, up from 1.5% during the third quarter.

Trump had predicted another quarter of GDP growth over 3% just this Wednesday in a speech to the country's mayors. U.S. economy's growth path is a part of a coordinated global rebound that incorporates Asia and Euro Zone.

In its first economic forecast of 2018, the International Monetary Fund has projected the Colombian economy to grow by 3.0%, a rate in line with the 2.9% prediction issued last week by the World Bank.

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Overall, GDP increased by 2.3 percent in 2017, up from a 1.5 percent increase in 2016.

That was the fastest pace of quarterly growth past year, although the Office for National Statistics said the big picture remained one of slower and more uneven expansion in Britain.

Let's break this down a little.

"We need an urgent change of direction", Dowd added.

"Growth still looks lacklustre - and somewhat unevenly distributed - with the year-on-year figure of 1.5% the weakest since the first quarter of 2013", he said. I think people should buy whatever they want.

Looking more closely at the underlying data in this report, consumer spending was the biggest bright spot. "America is open for business and we are competitive once again".

Yes, the out-turn for 2017 is significantly better than was predicted in the immediate aftermath of the vote to leave the European Union, after which the Bank of England was forecasting growth of just 0.8% and the Office for Budget Responsibility 1.4%. Those could all be factors, but doesn't the biggest tax reform in more than 30 years stand a pretty decent chance of making an impact as well? Even with steady hiring and the lowest unemployment rate since 2000, wage increases remain tepid, one reason economists expect households may take a breather from splurging this quarter.

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