Economic growth in the U.S. slowed in the second quarter of 2019 after a torrid start to the year, according to data released Friday by the Commerce Department.
U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annualized rate of 2.1 percent between April and June, in line with expectations but well below the 3.1 percent growth-rate notched in the first three months of 2019.
The report showed signs of resilience for a U.S. economy as it stretches a record decade of expansion toward the 2020 presidential election. President Trump’s reelection chances could largely depend on the strength of the U.S. economy and if he succeeds in taking credit for it.
While steady growth and near-record joblessness bode well for Trump now, the mounting damage from his trade policy and other international obstacles pose unmistakable threats.
Surges in consumer spending and government spending carried the U.S in the second quarter while the business sector braced for a souring global forecast.
Consumers spending, which makes up roughly 70 percent of the economy, spiked 4.3 percent in the second quarter, rebounding from a 1.1 percent rise in the first quarter. Government spending also rose 5.5 percent in the past three months, likely due to expenditures delayed during the federal shutdown.
But productivity-boosting business investment declined 0.6 percent in the same period, reflecting concern about the long-term health of the U.S. economy.
Economists widely expected growth to slump in the second quarter after previous data showed a global pullback in industrial output and severe threats to the European and Chinese economies.