Here comes GDP …

american flag construction workers

The Commerce Department will release its initial estimate of how the US economy performed in the fourth quarter at 8:30 a.m. ET. 

Economists forecast that Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the value of everything produced domestically, rose by 3%, according to Bloomberg. 

Some of the strongest indications that the economy ended the year on a sound note came right at the end, as the holiday shopping season ramped up. Data from Mastercard SpendingPulse showed that sales from November 1 through Christmas Eve rose 4.9% year-on-year, the strongest pace since 2011.  

The housing market also ended the year on a sound note, with the numbers for December showing that new residential construction rose to a 10-year high in 2017. 

“The quarter overall witnessed the firmest annualized run rate in control retail sales (ex. autos, gasoline, building materials) since September 2003,” said Tom Porcelli, the chief Us economist at RBC Capital Markets, in a preview. “It clocked in at a very impressive +8.9%.”

He continued: “With all that said, one area of significant uncertainty is inventory investment.”

President Donald Trump has touted an annual 3% GDP growth rate as a target for his administration, which was achieved in the second and third quarters. Friday’s initial print on the fourth quarter will be revised two more times.

More to come … 

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