Economic Growth Stronger Than First Thought
March 31, 2017
U.S. economic growth was a little stronger that first thought in the
last few months of 2016.
Thursday's updated report from the Commerce Department says the economy
grew at a 2.1 percent annual rate in October, November and December.
Growth was helped by stronger consumer spending.
PNC Bank economist Gus Faucher says the world's largest economy is in
"solid shape" and expects growth will be stronger this year than in
the campaign, U.S. President Donald Trump promised to boost economic
growth to four percent or better by cutting taxes and regulations, and
boosting investment in roads and bridges. Many private economists doubt
this growth rate can be achieved. Some argue that Trump's stimulus
efforts cannot overcome the economic drag from slow productivity growth
and an aging workforce that is losing members to retirement.
A separate report from the Labor Department said new unemployment claims
declined by 3,000.
The data show that the total number of applications for unemployment
(258,000) is still low enough to show a healthy labor market. The number
of jobless claims has been below 300,000 for more than two years, the
longest stretch since 1970 when the labor force was smaller.
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