The US economy gained surprisingly strong momentum at the beginning of the year.
Between January and March, gross domestic product (GDP) rose at an annualized rate of 3.2 percent, the Commerce Department said on Friday. Experts spoke of a “huge surprise”, they had expected only 2.0 percent after 2.2 percent at the end of 2018. Private consumption, which accounts for more than two-thirds of GDP, was no longer as strong as last. The export-minded state and foreign trade leaped into the breach: in the midst of international tariff disputes, it contributed more than one percentage point to GDP growth in the wake of rising exports and declining imports. A large portion of the growth was also due to a significant inventory build-up.
“It’s still around in the US economy,” said economist Thomas Gitzel of VP Bank. “This will hardly change anything in the coming quarters, even though the growth will be slightly lower.” The dollar was boosted by GDP data: the euro fell to a two-year low of $ 1.1110. On the US stock market, the prices rose before the stock market.
Recently, positive news from the economy piled up: The new building business in March did not run as well as it did since November 2017 and the retailers achieved the biggest sales increase in one and a half years. “The risks to the US economy, which were discussed intensively at the beginning of the year, have increasingly evaporated in recent months,” says Commerzbank expert Bernd Weidensteiner.