Surprising Growth in the U.S.

The GDP is Showing Surprising Growth. So What?

November 1, 2017
Michelle HolmesBy Michelle Holmes
Trust Investment Officer

The U.S. economy or GDP grew at a faster pace in the third quarter than anticipated. What is GDP and why is it important? Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the value of all of the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders. GDP is an indicator of the economic health of a country. It is useful when comparing productivity between countries or comparing current measures within a country with previous years or quarters.

Analysts expected 2.6% growth in GDP for the U.S., however, the economy actually grew 3.0% in the third quarter after increasing 3.1% in the second quarter. This was the fastest six month growth since 2014. The impact of hurricanes Harvey and Irma on growth in the quarter was limited.

Most areas of the economy grew in the third quarter. Government spending and residential investment detracted from growth while businesses and inventories contributed the most to economic growth. Business spent more on equipment this quarter and rebuilt inventories from the depressed levels in 2015. Exports increased this quarter and imports fell adding 0.4% to GDP. 

US Real GDP Chart


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About the Author

Michelle Holmes, CFA

Michelle Holmes is an Assistant Vice President in Investments with Security National Bank's Wealth Management Division. A Chartered Financial Analyst® charterholder, Michelle has two decades of investment experience. She graduated from Morningside College with a Bachelor of Science in accounting, business administration and economics.