US economic growth accelerates to 2.4% in second quarter

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Economic growth in the US was stronger than anticipated in the second quarter of 2023, as exercise proved resilient in the face of the Federal Reserve’s marketing campaign of aggressive rate of interest rises.

The world’s largest economic system grew 2.4 per cent on an annualised foundation between April and June, in accordance to preliminary figures launched by the Department of Commerce on Thursday.

That marked an acceleration from a 2 per cent growth price in the primary quarter, and was nicely above the 1.8 per cent price predicted by economists.

Consumer spending growth slowed after an unusually robust begin to the yr however the discount was greater than offset by robust enterprise funding in each inventories and glued property.

“We’re seeing some encouraging signs of resilience, especially when you look at private sector demand,” EY Parthenon chief economist Gregory Daco stated. “Whether its consumers or businesses, there’s still a desire to drive growth and spend, albeit with more caution than in the past.”

The information comes a day after the US central financial institution raised its benchmark rate of interest to the best degree in 22 years as a part of its efforts to tame inflation.

The client worth index in the US has fallen from a peak of greater than 9 per cent in June 2022 to 3 per cent final month, whereas the unemployment price stays shut to report lows and client confidence has improved.

The mixture of latest information has raised hopes amongst economists and buyers that the central financial institution will obtain the uncommon feat of a “soft landing” — bringing inflation below management with out main economic injury. But others are involved that the economic system’s resilience will make it tougher to convey inflation all the way in which to the Fed’s 2 per cent goal.

Fed chair Jay Powell on Wednesday stated his “base case is that we will be able to achieve inflation moving back down to our target without the kind of really significant downturn that results in high levels of job losses”.

He additionally famous the dangers: “At the margins, stronger growth could lead over time to higher inflation and that would require an appropriate response for monetary policy, so we’ll be watching that carefully.”

Eric Winograd, senior economist at AllianceBernstein, stated: “To me the most important signal out of [Thursday’s data] is that households continue to consume . . . And I don’t think we should expect the consumer to weaken until the labour market does.”

Outlook upgrades and upbeat commentary from a number of US corporations this week have additionally painted an image of a resilient home client.

McDonald’s chief government Chris Kempczinski informed analysts on Thursday the fast-food chain had not noticed a “dramatic” general change in the US client. “Sentiment is actually improving a little bit, but we’re certainly still far off of where we were back in 2019,” he stated.

Separately, Royal Caribbean raised its steerage for adjusted earnings this yr by 33 per cent after reporting on Thursday that demand for its cruises and onboard spending have been robust in its second monetary quarter. Meta and Alphabet this week reported upbeat revenues, in an indication a year-long digital promoting droop could also be easing.

Government spending offered an extra tailwind to growth, with an uptick in spending by state and native governments. EY’s Daco stated the will increase might mirror the preliminary stimulus from programmes such because the Inflation Reduction Act and Chips Act.

On Wall Street, yields on US authorities bonds ticked up shortly after the information was launched, however continued their climb in morning buying and selling. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury gained 0.10 proportion factors to 3.95 per cent, extending its enhance from earlier in the day. The two-year observe, which is especially delicate to short-term rate of interest expectations, was up 0.11 proportion factors to 4.94 per cent. Yields rise when costs fall.

The S&P 500 was up 0.7 per cent in morning buying and selling on Thursday, whereas the Nasdaq Composite superior 1.2 per cent.

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