Chart of the Day: GDP Growth in Q3

The economy grew at an annualized rate of 3.0 percent in the third quarter of 2017. This is a pretty good result, especially considering the revision of last quarter’s growth to 3.1 percent. That’s two quarters in a row of 3 percent growth. Third quarter growth was mostly driven by a sizeable increase in the purchase of consumer durable goods (cars, refrigerators, etc.) and an even bigger increase in the purchase of commercial equipment (computers, backhoes, etc.). Investment in housing was down considerably for the second quarter in a row.

Disposable personal income increased by $51 billion less than in the second quarter. Consumers apparently made up for this by eating into savings, which decreased $51 billion compared to the second quarter. This is a small red flag, but nothing to get too concerned about unless it keeps up.

Aside from the fact that Donald Trump will start crowing about how growth like this has never been seen before in human history, this is basically good news. I remain concerned about some signs here and there that point to a fairly tired expansion, but so far there’s no indication that the US economy is in anything but pretty decent shape.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate