The U.S. economy is in a period of expansion. The gross domestic product, or GDP, is a measure of the value of all the goods and services produced in the United States. It grew at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019. That’s down from the 4.2 percent rate in the previous quarter, but it’s still strong.
The expansion began in June 2009, making it the longest on record. It’s now in its 10th year. The previous record was held by the expansion that lasted from March 1991 to March 2001.
The economy has been growing steadily, but there have been some speed bumps along the way. The most recent was the government shutdown that began in December 2018 and lasted for 35 days. It was the longest shutdown in U.S. history.
The shutdown had a ripple effect on the economy. It caused businesses to lose revenue and put workers’ paychecks on hold. The effects of the shutdown are expected to linger into 2019.
The expansion has been driven by consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity. Spending has been fueled by a strong job market and rising wages.
The unemployment rate fell to a 49-year low of 3.6 percent in April 2019. That’s down from 10 percent in October 2009, at the height of the Great Recession.
Wages are also rising. The average hourly pay for workers rose 3.2 percent in the 12 months that ended in April 2019. That’s the biggest annual increase in nearly 10 years.
The strong job market and rising wages are giving consumers the confidence to spend. That’s good news for the economy.
There are other signs that the economy is healthy. The stock market is near an all-time high. And home prices are rising.
The expansion is also helping to reduce the federal budget deficit. The deficit was $779 billion in fiscal year 2018. That’s down from $1.1 trillion in fiscal year 2015.
The economy is expected to continue to grow in 2019. The GDP is forecast to grow by 2.5 percent. That would be the best performance since 2015.
The expansion is not expected to last forever. Economists say the next recession is likely to occur in 2020 or 2021. But for now, the economy is on a roll.The global economy is in a state of flux. Political and economic uncertainty are the new normal, and businesses and consumers alike are feeling the effects. In this environment, it’s more important than ever to stay up-to-date on the latest economic news and developments. Here are five key things to know about the economy in 2018.
1. The U.S. economy is strong, but there are signs of slowdown
The U.S. economy has been on a roll in recent years, posting solid growth and low unemployment. But there are signs that the good times may be coming to an end. Economic indicators such as retail sales and manufacturing activity have been weakening in recent months, and some experts are predicting a slowdown in 2019.
2. The trade war is a major risk to the global economy
The ongoing trade war between the United States and China is a major risk to the global economy. The tariffs imposed by both countries are starting to bite, and there is no end in sight to the dispute. If the trade war escalates, it could lead to a global recession.
3. Brexit is a huge uncertainty for the UK and the EU
The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union has created a great deal of uncertainty for businesses and consumers. With no clear plan for Brexit, businesses are struggling to make long-term plans, and consumers are feeling anxious about the future. The UK economy has already slowed down as a result of the Brexit uncertainty, and further problems are expected in the months and years ahead.
4. The Chinese economy is slowing down
The Chinese economy is no longer the powerhouse it once was. Growth has slowed in recent years, and the country is facing a number of challenges, including a high level of debt and a declining workforce. The Chinese government is trying to boost the economy with a number of stimulus measures, but it remains to be seen if these will be successful.
5. Economic inequality is a major problem
Economic inequality is a major problem in many parts of the world, and it is getting worse. In the United States, for example, the top 1% of earners now take home more than 20% of the country’s income. This level of inequality is not sustainable, and it is likely to lead to social and political unrest.
The economy is a complex and ever-changing beast. By staying informed, you can make the best decisions for your business and your family.