March 23, 2018

US GDP rebound fails to ignite dollar spark

29 July 2017, 12:56 | Lionel James

Many economists expect the central bank will wait until October so as not to shock the economy with a rapid rise in borrowing costs, given the recent rise in the Canadian dollar which makes exporters less competitive. President Donald Trump had set an ambitious 3.0 percent growth target for 2017.

Friday's number is just the first estimate on second quarter GDP growth. Two and half percent is not great, but it's not bad, and it is a full point above average economic growth during the Obama administration and half a point above the "Obama recovery" era.

The faster pace of expansion was driven by 2.8 per cent annual growth in consumer spending, up from a 1.1 per cent rate of growth in the first quarter. Economists had expected the Q2 figure to be closer to 2.7%.

The GDP deflator came in at 1.0% from 2.0% previously and below expectations of a 1.3% increase. That was an acceleration from the 1.9 percent pace logged in the first quarter.

Growth was held back by the housing market, though.

The revisions made minor changes to economic history, putting growth at 2.6 percent in 2014, up from 2.4 percent.

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The Canadian dollar added to gains against the greenback immediately after the report, while traders increased their bets of another interest rate hike from the Bank of Canada, which earlier this month raised rates for the first time in almost seven years.

Specifically, final sales to private domestic purchasers q/q rose 2.7% in 2Q after rising 3.1% prior quarter. Output increased 2.6%, which matched's consensus forecast.

Inflation slowed to an annual rate of 0.3% in the second quarter from 2.2% in the first, as measured by the personal-consumption expenditures price index, or PCE.

Businesses continued to carefully manage their inventories in the second quarter but spent more in some places.

Growth was buoyed by investment from sectors like information technology and oil and gas, which is finally reinvesting in new infrastructure as global oil prices recover from previous lows, said Charles Seville, senior director at Fitch Ratings. Nonresidential fixed investment increased by 5.2 percent in the second quarter, extending the 7.2 percent growth rate from the first quarter.

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