According to the Commerce Department’s preliminary estimate, the economy grew 4.3% in the fourth quarter—substantially above expectations. Most economists participating in the January 10, 1998 Blue Chip survey, for example, were anticipating a 3.1% growth rate. The unexpected, but welcome, news reflects faster inventory accumulation, reduced imports, and increased exports. Personal consumption spending slowed but remained strong. Business fixed investment spending fell.
Suggested citation: “Economic Activity,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 98-02, pp. 10-11, 02.01.1998.