US economy grows in Q4, durable goods orders down in Dec
The reports showed that exports declined while imports were up, which caused GDP to contract. According to the data, exports declined by 4.3% in Q4 after an increase of 10% in Q3 while imports climbed by 8.3% after a rise of 2.2% in Q3.
However, the increase in consumer spending had a positive impact on the country’s GDP in Q4 with an increase of 1.3%, although this was slower than 1.7% in Q3. The Commerce Department also said that private inventory investment, residential and non-residential fixed investment as well as state and local government spending contributed to the growth.
According to data from the US Commerce Department, durable goods orders posted a further decrease by 0.4% on a monthly basis in December after dropping by 4.8% in November and stood quite below the economists’ estimates which were calling for an increase of 2.6%. This surprising drop was mainly driven by the fall in orders for transportation equipment by 2.2%, after it climbed by 14.7% in November. Orders for defense aircraft and parts also dipped by 63.9%, but to some extent it was counterbalanced by the increase in orders for commercial aircraft and parts by 42.4%.
Excluding the drop in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders increased by 0.5% after an increase of 1% in November and matched the estimates. Orders for computers, electronic products, machinery, electrical equipment, appliances and components, as well as non-defense goods excluding aircrafts posted increases and contributed to the relatively slower growth in Q4.
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