Q3, 2018 Forecast

In 2018, real GDP is projected to grow by 3.1 percent. That is about 0.6 percentage points faster than the pace of its growth in 2017 (see figure below). The pickup in growth is largely the result of increases in government spending, reductions in taxes, and faster growth in private investment.

For the second half of the year, CBO expects real GDP to grow at roughly the same average pace as it grew in the first half of the year, which would represent a moderation following the 4.1 percent annualized growth of GDP reported in the second quarter. Such moderation occurs because several factors that boosted second-quarter growth— including a rebound in the growth of consumer spending from a weak first quarter and a surge in agricultural exports—are expected to either fade or reverse. In 2019, the pace of GDP growth slows to 2.4 percent in the agency’s forecast as growth in business investment and government purchases slows.


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