US confirms 2.3% economic growth in 2019



 The US government has confirmed that the national economy grew by 2.3 per cent in 2019, a modest rate that is far below of what President Donald Trump had promised and which was now in danger from the coronavirus outbreak that has already led to significant losses across the world stock markets.

According to the second of three estimates about the evolution of the US GDP, the country's economy - which began 2019 with growth of about 3 per cent - ended the year with quarterly growth of 2.1 per cent, confirming a decelerating trend that is predicted to become more pronounced in 2020, Efe news quoted the government as saying on Thursday.

This economic growth, in addition, has been the lowest registered in the US since Trump entered the White House in January 2017, after promising to keep the economy growing at between 3 and 4 per cent during his term.

Trump, who got closest to his promised growth rate in 2018 when the economy advanced by 2.9 per cent, has blamed the Federal Reserve for failing to implement the economic stimulus policy that he wants.

On Wednesday, at a press conference to discuss the coronavirus threat, Trump once again complained that the US was at a disadvantage vis-a-vis the European Union due to the strength of the dollar and the EU's interest rates of practically zero percent.

According to the latest figures, between October and December exports increased by 2 per cent instead of the 1.4 per cent calculated earlier, and imports fell 8.7 per cent, three tenths more than expected.

Excluding trade, government investments and spending, the US economy grew at an annual rate of 1.3 per cent in the fourth quarter, one tenth percent less than prior calculations indicated would be the case and the slowest growth in four years.

The financial markets have been roiled recently on fears that the coronavirus will spread worldwide in the medium term.

Wall Street once again suffered heavy losses in its three main indicators during the last minutes of trading on Thursday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping a record 1,190 points on the day to close below 26,000 on the sixth consecutive day in the red due to market fears about the coronavirus epidemic and its impact on the global economy.IANS