Economic growth in the US in Q4 2017 revised up to 2.9%

Economic growth in the US slowed less than previously thought in the last quarter of 2017, according to new estimates by the Commerce Department.

Fourth quarter US GDP growth in 2017 was revised up to an annual rate of 2.9 percent from the previously reported 2.5 percent, according to the Commerce Department’s third estimate released on Wednesday.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast fourth-quarter GDP growth to be revised up to a rate of 2.7 percent.

The reading is a slight decline from the third quarter’s 3.2 percent growth rate.

The revision for growth in the final three months of 2017 reflects less inventory reduction than previously reported.

In 2017, the US economy expanded by 2.3 percent in 2017, up from 1.5 percent growth in 2016.

The government reported that  after-tax corporate profits in the fourth quarter rose at a 1.7 percent rate after a 5.7 percent rise in the previous quarter.

Consumer spending in the fourth quarter, which accounts for over two-thirds of economic activity in the US, was revised up from the previously estimated 3.8 percent pace to a 4.0 percent rate.

There are signs that economic activity may have slowed in the first quarter of 2018

According to Reuters, retail sales dropped in February this year for a third consecutive month and housing data has been relatively weak. Meanwhile, the trade deficit reached a nine-year high in January.

The Atlanta Federal Reserve forecasts growth at a rate of 1.8 percent in the January-March period of 2018.