Oct 26, 2018

GDP grows 3.5% in the third quarter

U.S. gross domestic product grew at a 3.5% annual rate in the third quarter, beating economists' expectations but slower than Q2's 4.2% pace, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Data: Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

The big picture: The economy is on track for its best performance since 2005.

  • Strong consumer spending and a pick-up in government spending were among the biggest contributors to GDP, while a downturn in exports took a bite out of growth.
  • For full-year GDP growth to come in above 3%, which would be a major win for President Trump, growth in the fourth quarter would need to hit 3.3%, according to Jason Furman, former Council of Economic Advisers Chairman in the Obama administration:

Go deeper

The world's fast-growing mountain of debt

The world's total debt surged by some $9 trillion in the first three quarters of 2019, according to data from the Institute of International Finance, bringing the world's total debt load to $253 trillion, or 322% of its GDP — a record high.

Why it matters: In times of economic strength, economists exhort countries to pare back their debt burdens and pay it down to protect against future unrest and downturn.

Go deeperArrowJan 13, 2020

Suspension of 737 MAX production expected to cut economic growth

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Boeing's plan to suspend production of its 737 MAX jets in January is expected to hit Q1 GDP growth, assuming the suspension lasts through the first quarter and that suppliers slow production.

By the numbers: Wall Street firms estimate the suspension could shave off as much as 0.6 percentage points from Q1 GDP.

Go deeperArrowDec 19, 2019

Wall Street has its best year since 2013

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Wall Street had its biggest annual gain in six years — with the S&P 500 rising 29% and the Nasdaq Composite rising 35% in 2019. The Dow lagged behind other indices, but saw its biggest yearly gain since 2017.

Why it matters: U.S. stocks rebounded from 2018's year-end meltdown to log impressive gains, despite uncertainty stemming from the trade war and a slowdown in economic growth.