Today, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released the fourth quarter and annual gross domestic product (GDP) numbers. The Bureau found that the real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter and 2.9 percent for all of 2018.
“President Donald Trump has unleashed American growth at a pace the experts thought was not possible, approaching 3% real GDP growth in 2018,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “An America First agenda that prioritizes American jobs, American workers, and American industry instead of burdensome regulation and unfair trade deals has revitalized the American economy. America is back.”
The 2.9 percent annual GDP growth beat expectations comfortably. Year over year growth from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018 was 3.1 percent. GDP growth in 2018 was buoyed by healthy consumer spending levels, including significant spending on light trucks. Likely spurred by incentives in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, business investment was strong as American business spent more on equipment, software, and intellectual property research and development.
The notable growth numbers build on the many economic accomplishments of the Trump Administration. Most importantly, year over year wage growth reached 3.2 percent twice, the fastest since April 2009.
While America’s workforce is realizing the benefits of higher wages, more Americans are enjoying the dividends of the strong economy. In 2018, the U.S. added 2.6 million jobs, helping bring the labor force participation rate up to 63.1 percent, 0.4 points above the previous year.
Important economic sectors saw particularly strong growth. The manufacturing industry added 284,000 jobs in 2018 alone, a 37 percent increase over 2017 and totaling almost 500,000 manufacturing jobs added since President Trump’s election. The construction industry added 280,000 jobs in 2018, a 12 percent increase over the jobs created in 2017.
President Trump has successfully negotiated the USMCA, providing the protection for American workers and business that the President promised. President Trump has likewise made good on his promise to confront China over its aggressive trade practices and has sent the message to the world that they can no longer take advantage of American workers.
In 2018, Americans started benefiting from the President’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as their take home pay increased due to a lower tax burden and companies large and small passed the benefits of the business tax cuts on to their employees in bonuses, raises, and other benefits.
To view the Gross Domestic Product, Fourth Quarter and Annual 2018 full release click HERE.