GDP Surges By 4.1% in Second Quarter

FILE- In this Jan. 30, 2018, file photo, a container ship waits to be unloaded at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, Calif. Economists project that the U.S. economy's rate of growth slowed in the last three months of 2017. On Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2017, the Commerce Department issues the second of three estimates of how the U.S. economy performed in the October-December quarter. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

FILE- In this Jan. 30, 2018, file photo, a container ship waits to be unloaded at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, Calif. Economists project that the U.S. economy’s rate of growth slowed in the last three months of 2017. On Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2017, the Commerce Department issues the second of three estimates of how the U.S. economy performed in the October-December quarter. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

 

This morning the Commerce Department released data that showed GDP grew by a very healthy 4.1% in the Second Quarter of 2018.

The big unknown in this is the effect of the brewing trade showdown with China. The GDP number was buoyed by large purchases of US soybeans by China before tariffs took effect. Still, soybeans are a damned small part of the GDP. Government spending was also up. Consumer spending was up.

Some have been whining that this Quarter’s growth is cannibalizing Third Quarter growth, so the GOP will go into November with a drop in GDP. This is probably true. Having said that, it is unlikely that the Third Quarter GDP is going to be below 3% based on what we know about this quarter. The key thing is the confidence voters have in the direction and the management of the economy. And, barring a meltdown of some type on Wall Street, odds are they will feel pretty confident.

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