The first read on growth in the U.S. economy during the fourth quarter was a tad disappointing. GDP increased by 2.6% year over year in the fourth quarter. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com were looking for growth of 2.9%. In the third quarter of 2017 GDP grew at a year over year rate of 3.2% after all the revisions were in.
Durable goods orders in December were a bit stronger than expected on the top line with total orders up 2.9%. (November was revised upwards to 1.7% growth from 1.3%) Economists had projected a 0.9% increase for December. The total durables goods numbers tend to swing wildly with the timing of orders for big transportation goods such as airplanes from Boeing. The less volatile and more closely watched durables ex-transporation goods orders number showed 0.6% growth in the month, slightly below economists expectations for 0.7%. November ex-transportation growth was revised upwards to 0.3% from a -0.1%.
Next up in the economic numbers hit parade is the PCE inflation reading, the Federal Reserves preferred inflation measure. The PCE is scheduled for release Monday at 8:30 a.m. New York time.