U.S. first-quarter GDP preview: Adverse factors may crimp growth
Owen Fairclough
U.S. economic growth figures for the first quarter of 2019 will be released later on Friday.
Even though the U.S has been posting decent growth, economists and stock markets are still wary of the financial impact of the record-breaking government shutdown earlier this year.
Except for the tourists, it's pretty quiet up on the Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. That's only because the U.S. Congress is in recess. But back in January, it was quiet for a very different reason: the longest government shutdown in the country's history.
And we will find out how much it cost the U.S. economy when economic growth figures for the first quarter of the year are released.
The shutdown triggered by a funding dispute for President Donald Trump's border wall began on December 22 and ended on January 25.
The government's budget office estimated the shutdown period in December would equate to eight billion U.S. dollars loss in economic activity, while in January, it would be 11 billion U.S. dollars – about 0.1 percent of GDP was shaved off.
There are fears a trade war with China will also harm the U.S. economy, though Wall Street doesn't seem to be afraid anymore – the S&P and Nasdaq exchanges hit record highs this week.
But if Trump thinks the U.S. economy is doing well, it isn't hitting a target he once made of four-percent growth a year earlier.
Although the White House thinks the growth will be 3.2 percent this year, the International Monetary Fund holds the actual value will be nearly one whole percentage point less.