Slight blow of slack for the economy on the other side of the Atlantic. GDP growth in the United States was revised down slightly in the second quarter, according to a new Commerce Department estimate released Thursday. On an annual basis, US GDP growth was 2% from April to June in line with analysts' expectations, up from 2.1% for the first estimate.
This confirms the sharp slowdown compared to the first quarter (3.1%). But this growth remains relatively sustained, largely driven by the vitality of American consumers. The rise in consumer spending, the traditional engine of the US economy, was revised up to 4.7%, its best score in almost five years. Consumers have acquired more durable goods, ranging from cars to household appliances. These purchases climbed 8.8%, never seen for more than fifteen years.
Trade suffers with trade war
This helped to offset the bad news on the side of business investment (-0.6%) and especially the trade that is obviously suffering from the confrontation with China. US exports fell more sharply than previously estimated at -5.8%, costing GDP 0.7 percentage points. This is their worst performance since Q3 2018 when the Trump administration began its trade war. Imports, they, almost stagnated (+ 0.1%).
Government spending jumped 4.5%, a revised figure slightly down from the first estimate but still the strongest in a decade. This increase is mainly due to a catch-up of expenses related to the "shutdown", the partial closure of administrative services that took place at the end of last year.