No economic analysis can be considered complete without appreciation for the many different estimates and assessments that go into evaluating our country’s economy. The Department of Commerce provides many of the economic indicators that business, government and Americans of all stripes rely on, including our regular estimates of U.S. GDP growth.
During 2018, real GDP grew 3.1 percent, the fastest 4th quarter to 4th quarter growth rate since 2005. This was only the fourth time annual growth exceeded 3.0 percent since the Recession. The 3.1 percent growth number provides a focused picture of how the economy has grown from the last part of 2017 to the last part of 2018 and provides a straightforward means of comparison for how the economy grew during 2018.
During 2018, private domestic investment grew 7.0 percent, also the fastest rate since 2015. The 10.8 percent growth in private intellectual property investment was the quickest growth rate since 2000.
Surpassing 3.0 percent growth during a calendar year for the first time since 2015 shows the strength of the American economy. At 3.1 percent, Q4 to Q4 annual growth, the U.S. is retaining its place as a leading economy in the world.