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.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest