Friday, 16 November, 2018

Weak soybean exports seen slowing USA third quarter growth

US economy grows 3.5% in 3Q as consumers, government spending boosts GDP US economy grows faster than expected
Cristina Norman | 30 October, 2018, 12:29

China's economic growth is expected to reach around 6.6 percent in 2018, according to a research report jointly released by Economic Information Daily, Xiamen University and University of London on Thursday.

Republicans praised the 3.5 percent third-quarter growth rate announced Friday as more evidence that President Donald Trump's agenda of deregulations, renegotiated worldwide trade deals, and tax cuts for individuals and corporations is working. However, there were some red flags to the expansion of the economy that is now in a ninth straight year, which is the second longest ever recorded.

The annualized rate of gains in gross domestic product compared with the 3.3% median estimate in a Bloomberg survey and followed a 4.2% advance in the prior three months, according to the October 26 report from the Commerce Department.

The US economy is underpinned by a $1.5 trillion tax cut and increased government spending.

President Donald Trump is banking on faster growth to pay for the December tax cuts and increased government spending, which nevertheless drove the United States budget deficit to a six-year high in the most recent fiscal year.

Yet a trade war exists between Washington and Beijing as well as other trade disputes between the US and other trade partners, with the slowdown last quarter mostly reflecting the retaliatory tariffs impact that Beijing imposed on exports from the USA including soybeans. That was driven by an unwinding of the hefty boost from net exports in the second quarter when USA exporters of soybeans and other products accelerated shipments to beat retaliatory tariffs from overseas.

In the third quarter, U.S. GDP grew at an annualized rate of 3.5%, according to the latest data from the BEA.

However, the drag from trade was probably offset by faster inventory accumulation by businesses stockpiling before US import duties, on mostly in Chinese goods, came into effect.

Businesses contributed less to economic growth in the July through September quarter as investment dropped. Spending on motor vehicles and parts added just 0.09 percentage point to third-quarter GDP.

The central bank has raised rates three times this year and signalled it will raise rates one more time this year and expect to raise rates three times in 2019.

The U.S. economy grew a robust 3.5 percent from July through September as consumer spending and government spending extended the nation's economic growth, the government said Friday. Nonresidential fixed investment - spending on large-ticket items like equipment - added only 0.12 points to GDP, the lowest in seven quarters, while overall fixed investment was a 0.04-point drag, the worst in 10 quarters. But headwinds are building. The second quarter's pace of growth was the best in four years. The core PCE price index rose at a 1.6% annual rate, down from a 2.1% rate in the second quarter. In the second quarter of 2018, real GDP increased 4.2 per cent, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said. So far, much of the money from the tax cuts is not going directly to investments, but instead to stock buybacks, something Democrats predicted in their opposition of the bill.

GDP growth last quarter benefited from a rebuilding of inventories, which dragged down expansion in the prior period amid tariff-related supply chain disruptions and steady demand.

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