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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.
President Trump last week demanded that NATO allies, who have already pledged to increase their military spending to 2 percent of GDP by 2024, raise their spending to 4 percent.
This is supposedly necessary to defend against Russia. Whether or not he really thinks Russia is that much of a threat, the fact is that the European members of NATO already outspend Russia by a considerable amount.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Institute, Russia’s spending military spending last year was $66.3 billion, down from $69.2 billion in 2016.
France spent $57.8 billion, the UK spent $47.2 billion and Germany spent $44.3 billion—a combined total of $149.3 billion, more than double what Russia spent. Estimated US spending was $610 billion.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies made different but similar estimates.
Its estimate was that Russia spent $61.2 billion last year, while the UK spent $50.7…
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In recent weeks media outlets in the US have been fretting over what would ordinarily be considered good news – the roaring American economy, which has brought low unemployment and, in some places, a labour shortage. Owners and managers have complained about their problems in finding people to fill low-wage positions. “Nobody wants to do manual labour any more,” as one trade association grandee told the Baltimore Sun, and so the manual labour simply goes undone.
Company bosses talk about the things they have done to fix the situation: the ads they’ve published; the guest-worker visas for which they’ve applied; how they are going into schools to encourage kids to learn construction skills or to drive trucks. The Wall Street Journal reports on the amazing perks that plumbing companies are now offering new hires: quiet rooms, jetski trips, pottery classes, free breakfast, free beer.
But nothing seems to work. Blame for the labour shortage is sprayed all over the US map: opioids are said to be the problem. And welfare, and inadequate parking spaces, and a falling birthrate, and mass incarceration, and – above all – the Trump administration’s immigration policies. But no one really knows for sure.
It’s been more than a year since the UK voted to leave the EU after more than 40 years of membership.Parliament is set to vote on the EU withdrawal bill, which transfers EU law into UK legislation
Autumn statement 2016 Philip Hammond Theresa May Economics Economic policy EU referendum and Brexit Economic growth (GDP) Housing Office for Budget Responsibility Minimum wage Budget deficit Government borrowing
NICOLA Sturgeon was today challenged to drop “toxic” plans for another independence referendum as official figures revealed the oil crash left Scotland almost £15 billion in the red.
The old playbook isn’t working anymore. Here’s what might.