Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Friday, January 29, 1999 Published at 14:17 GMT

Business: The Economy

US economy remains buoyant

US economy surges on

The US economy continues to defy global economic turmoil and is growing faster than economists predicted.

The economy expanded at an annual rate of 5.6% in the last quarter of 1998, faster than the rate of 3.7% recorded in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said.

This is the strongest pace of quarterly growth since the second quarter of 1996, and was much stronger than the 4.8% that had been expected.

For the whole of last year, the economy grew at a rate of 3.9%, the same as in 1997.

Consumer spending rose 4.8% in 1998, its strongest increase since 1984.

Inflation, as measured by the GDP price index, rose 1%, down from 1.9% in 1997. This is the smallest price increase since 1950.

Consumers lead the way

[ image: Growth figures were put down to increased spending on durable goods]
Growth figures were put down to increased spending on durable goods
The acceleration of growth was put down to an increase in personal spending on durable goods, a rise in exports, and higher business investment.

Growth was offset by rising imports, decreased personal spending for services, and a downturn in inventory investment.

The trade deficit cut fourth quarter GDP by 0.3 percentage points after cutting the figure by 0.62 percentage points in the third quarter.

The Commerce Department said this was the smallest drag caused by the trade deficit since the fourth quarter of 1996.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

The Economy Contents

Relevant Stories

14 Jan 99 | The Economy
Great '98 for US economy

08 Jan 99 | The Economy
US jobs soar

Internet Links

US Department of Commerce

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Inquiry into energy provider loyalty

Brown considers IMF job

Chinese imports boost US trade gap

No longer Liffe as we know it

The growing threat of internet fraud

House passes US budget

Online share dealing triples

Rate fears as sales soar

Brown's bulging war-chest

Oil reaches nine-year high

UK unemployment falls again

Trade talks deadlocked

US inflation still subdued

Insolvent firms to get breathing space

Bank considered bigger rate rise

UK pay rising 'too fast'

Utilities face tough regulation

CBI's new chief named

US stocks hit highs after rate rise

US Fed raises rates

UK inflation creeps up

Row over the national shopping basket

Military airspace to be cut

TUC warns against following US

World growth accelerates

Union merger put in doubt

Japan's tentative economic recovery

EU fraud costs millions

CBI choice 'could wreck industrial relations'

WTO hails China deal

US business eyes Chinese market

Red tape task force

Websites and widgets

Guru predicts web surge

Malaysia's economy: The Sinatra Principle

Shell secures Iranian oil deal

Irish boom draws the Welsh

China deal to boost economy

US dream scenario continues

Japan's billion dollar spending spree