MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Monday, April 30th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Coming next on The World and Everything in It, the Monday Moneybeat.
On Friday, the Commerce Department released GDP numbers, gross domestic product growth for the first three months of the year: January, February, and March. It’s a sort of first-quarter economic report card. And it showed an annual growth rate of 2.3 percent. That’s significantly less than the previous quarter, but more than expected. And it’s more than a full percentage point better than the same time last year.
Many economic analysts looked at the decline in consumer spending and forecasted GDP growth would come in below two percent. Those everyday purchases we make account for 70 percent of GDP. But business investment in the first quarter was strong and that helped to bolster the economy.
REICHARD: The Trump administration is counting on average annual growth of three percent. That’s the basis for its tax-and-spending projections. GDP growth averaged less than that, 2.6 percent last year, and the White House hopes the tax reform that just took effect will push it past three this year.
EICHER: Economists call any growth in GDP expansion, the opposite of recession. And the economy’s been growing since the Great Recession ended in the middle of 2009. But during the Obama administration, it grew very slowly, averaging just 2.2 percent each quarter. So we’re in the weakest expansion in the years since World War II. But it’s also the second-longest one in U.S. economic history. If GDP continues growing through June of next year, it will become the longest expansion in history. The current longest winning streak is the 10-year recovery of the 1990s.
REICHARD: A quiet week on Wall Street, but a losing week. All the major indexes declined slightly: The Standard & Poor’s 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq, and the index of smaller company stocks, the Russell 2000, all of them fell in value by less than a percentage point. So on the year, two of the major indexes are down, the S&P and the Dow, and two of them are up, the Nasdaq and the Russell.
And that’s this week’s Monday Moneybeat.