US Economy Growing at 4.8% Annual Rate
The US economy is growing at a 4.8% annualized rate in Q-2, the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow forecast model showed Thursday, following data that showed domestic retail sales grew at its strongest pace in 6 months in May.
The latest estimate on gross domestic product growth was faster than the 4.6% pace estimated on 8 June, the Atlanta Fed said.
The next GDPNow update is Tuesday, 19 June.
The Atlanta Fed’s action came just hours after the government announced that US retail sales increased more than expected in May as consumers bought motor vehicles and a range of other goods even as they paid more for gasoline, the latest indication of an acceleration in economic growth in Q-2.
Other data Thursday showed a further tightening in labor market conditions, with 1st-time applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly falling last week and the number of Americans on jobless rolls declining to a near 44.5 year low.
The reports came a day after the Fed raised interest rates for a 2nd time this year and offered an upbeat assessmen of the economy.
The FOMC described economic activity as “rising at a solid rate” and the labor market as continuing to “strengthen.” The Fed forecast 2 more rate hikes in 2-H of Y 2018.
The Fed upgraded its assessment of economic growth to ‘solid’ in Wednesday’s statement
The Commerce Department said retail sales jumped 0.8% last month, the biggest advance since November 2017. Data for April was revised up to show sales rising 0.4% instead of the previously reported 0.2% gainer.