The US economy grew 3.1 percent during the 3rd quarter of 2017. This was higher than expected after several states were damaged by hurricanes Irma and Harvey. Many analysts believed that there would be a sharp slowdown in our economic growth following the devastating results of this year’s hurricane season. However, spending held steady, even though homebuilding investment dropped. Consumer spending had a 2.3 percent growth, added with the increased growth of exports, business investments in equipment and intellectual property kept the GDP growth rate at 3 percent. This was despite the fall of construction spending, mainly due to the effects of the hurricanes seen this year.
Although this report was a good indication that our economy is healthy, the Commerce Department cautioned that the report did not show all the losses incurred by the hurricane damage during the 3rd quarter. The Commerce Department estimated that the total damage toll from the hurricanes to fixed assets was $131 bn, and they expect insurance companies and the government to pay up to $100 bn in claims directly related to Irma and Harvey. The report marked good news for President Trump, who has made it his goal to keep GDP growth at 3 percent. Together with the report for the 2nd quarter, these past six months mark the strongest economic period for the US since 2014. Things are expected to continue to grow into the last few months of the year. With the holiday season rapidly approaching, analyst expect the GDP growth rate to stay the same, if not increase as consumer spending increases through the end of 2017.