The U.S. economy grew at a solid 3.1% annual rate in the January-March quarter a pace that will likely prove to be the high-water mark for the year before growth weakens in the coming months.
That's the assessment widely shared by economists in light of the rising threats facing the U.S. economy, from a raging trade war to more cautious spending by consumers and businesses to a global slowdown. Their collective forecast is that last year's 2.9% growth the fastest year of expansion since 2015 will be followed by a more tepid 2.3% gain this year.
That pace would roughly match the average annual growth since the current expansion began in 2009. In two months, it will become the longest post-recession recovery on record. But it has also been the slowest since World War II.
The Trump administration, defying the assessments of mainstream economists, insists that its program of tax cuts, regulatory reform, and tougher enforcement of trade deals will produce dramatically higher annual growth above 3% for the next six years. Here are three key reasons why economists think growth has peaked for the year:
Half the 3.1% growth rate in the January-March quarter that the government reported Thursday was due to two temporary factors: A surge in business efforts to restock shelves. And a big narrowing in the trade deficit.
In the calculations that produce the nation's gross domestic product, a widening trade deficit subtracts from growth. By contrast, a narrowing trade deficit, like the one last quarter, raises growth. Yet economists predict that the pendulum will swing back to a wider trade gap in the current April-June quarter. That's because neither a sharp drop in imports nor a big surge in exports in the first quarter is expected to persist.
For that reason, analysts foresee second-quarter growth slowing to around a 1.5 percent annual rate just about half the first-quarter figure. President Donald Trump's signature domestic achievement was the passage of a $1.5 trillion tax cut in December 2017. Billions in additional spending for domestic and military programs that Congress approved in early 2018 also delivered a stimulating lift to the economy.
The tax cuts allowed companies, which received a major portion of the bounty, to spend more on plants and equipment. Business investment grew sharply as a result. So did stock buybacks, which helped boost the stock market.
And for households, tax cuts began showing up in paychecks early last year in the form of lower withholding amounts, leaving consumers with more money to spend. Consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of economic activity, averaged a sizzling 3.3% annual rate over the final three quarters of 2018.
But the initial surge from the tax cuts and the increased government spending are waning now. That's a major reason why economists think growth this year will slow to a modest 2.3% annual pace, in line with the pattern of the past decade.
A return to a 2.3% growth rate, while slower than last year, would still likely leave the economy with enough steam to keep unemployment, already near a 50-year low, at a healthy level. What concerns economists is that some further shock might significantly slow growth. Analysts are warily monitoring an array of risks, from disruptions resulting from a British exit from the European Union to weakening manufacturing and retail industries to jitters over congressional investigations into Trump's presidency.
But the greatest perceived threat may be the escalating trade war between the United States and China, the world's two largest economies. Stock markets have been falling since talks broke off this month and the Trump administration announced that it was boosting tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods. Beijing vowed to retaliate against U.S. products as it has done with previous Trump tariffs.
For economists, the concern is that the disruptions in trade could become severe enough to trigger a recession in an already weakening economy. "If the trade war escalates, that could cause unemployment to start to rise and that could cause consumers to cut back on their spending, which would then prompt businesses to cut back," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's. "Then the recession risks become very high."
Yet Zandi said he thought that risk could fade if the United States and China can at least declare a truce in their trade war, which would keep punitive tariffs from widening further. Economists are watching for such an outcome, with Trump and President Xi Jinping set to meet on the sidelines of a Group of 20 major nations' summit next month in Japan.
UtahPolicy.com stated that the unscientific straw survey from its own readers and also "political Insiders" count on Cox to be the top choice for its Beehive State's top public official.
The political news website said among its Republican and Democratic insiders, in addition to its readers, Cox was front runner but added beyond that, "there is very little consensus."
The site stated that former Speaker of the House Greg Hughes has been selected by 11% of those Republicans on the brand new poll panel, which is the same number of Republicans who picked "someone else".
Other results included:
Mark Zuckerberg's sudden Wednesday declaration of the new "privacy vision" for social networking was for most people a sort of psychological test. Looked at one way that the manifesto study as an apology of forms for Facebook's history of privacy transgressions, and suggested that the social network would de-emphasize its substantial community social media in favor of private messaging between individuals and among small classes.
Appeared at another, it turned out face-book into a kind of privateness champion by embracing encoded messaging that's shielded from prying eyes including those of Facebook itself.
Yet another reading indicated the entire thing was a public-relations exercise designed to lull its users although Facebook entrenches its aggressive position in messaging and uses it to create new sources of user data to nourish its own voracious advertising machine.
As with many things face book, the truth is somewhere in between. Face book so much isn't elaborating far on Zuckerberg's manifesto. Here's a guide to what we all understand at the moment about its own aims.
In one sense, nothing. Its existing social network, with its own newsfeeds and pages and 2.3 billion global users and $22 billion in 2018 profits, won't change and will likely continue to grow. Although user expansion was residing in North America, face-book's worldwide user base enlarged a 9 percent in the last quarter of 2018.
But Zuckerberg suggested that face-book's future development will rely on private messaging such as what it offers with its own WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct services. Even the face book CEO claimed private messaging in among individuals and small classes is "definitely" the fastest-growing section of online communications. Naturally, Facebook would like to be there in a major way.
Its very first measure will be to make its three messaging services communicate much better with every other. That can let you message a friend of WhatsApp from face-book Messenger, which isn't currently potential. It would likewise link your messaging accounts to your Facebook i-d, therefore individuals can find you more easily.
Zuckerberg also promised to greatly increase the security of the messages. It will implement the so-called end-to-end encryption for messaging, which could scramble them in order that no one but the sender and sender may read. That would bar accessibility by governments and Facebook. WhatsApp is encrypted this way, but Messenger and Instagram is not.
The first switch users might notice is the address publication, explained Siva Vaidhyanathan, director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia. Even though your Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp contacts may be somewhat different today, in the event the services combine into some level, your contact lists will also, too.
"As such services merge, we could wind up basically having these huge combined address novels from other messaging services," he explained. You're not likely to see at least one of those improvements anytime soon. In his blog post, Zuckerberg stated the master plan will soon likely be rolled out"on the next few years. A lot of this function is in the early stages."
Plus it's subject to change. EMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson points out that preceding Facebook visions of the future haven't really panned out. A couple of years back, for instance, Zuckerberg predicted that video and augmented and virtual reality would have been a much larger section of Facebook than what materialized, for illustration.
But it shows that face-book is trying to accommodate as people shift toward services such as Instagram and WhatsApp more than Facebook which now has 1-5 million fewer U.S. users than in since 20 17, according to Edison Research. In his post, Zuckerberg said he anticipates Messenger and WhatsApp will eventually become the main ways people communicate on Facebook's community.
"There is not a sense that things will fundamentally change overnight, and probably this year," Williamson explained, "But it indicates face book is thinking a lot much more significantly about embracing how that people communicate today."
Encrypted messaging is in lots of ways a big plus for solitude. But the manner Facebook gathers information about you on its main service site isn't changing, said Jen King, director of consumer privacy at Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society.
"This is limited by a very specific area of the platform plus it will not really handle all of the manners face book is however collecting data about you," she said. So users still ought to be alert about privacy settings and careful about what they decide to share on face book.
Facebook is likely to get data about your messaging so-called metadata that, according to security experts, will let it know who you communicate with, when and how often you publish, where you might be when you perform it for how long. That can explain to Facebook much about you if it can not see the contents of your messages.
Although the timeline is hazy, Zuckerberg did outline other changes users will eventually see. He said the company is looking at techniques to make messages less permanent, '' a manhunter Snapchat or even Instagram"testimonies," which disappear soon after 24 hours.
"Messages could be deleted after a month or a year by default option," Zuckerberg wrote. "This could reduce the risk of your messages resurfacing and embarrassing you later." Zuckerberg stated, users will have the capacity to change the time frame or switch off auto-deletion. "And we can also provide an option for you to set individual messages to expire after some seconds or minutes in case you wanted."
Facebook will also enlarge the way users can use its platform to cover for things, said Justin Brookman, director of consumer privacy and technology plan for Consumer studies. Zuckerberg failed to mention any new payment options specifically but didn't bring up payments four times in his post.
At the moment Facebook lets its users pay friends or businesses digitally by linking a charge card or PayPal account and that's the method that is not very likely to improve anytime soon. But as face book seems to be to emulate Chinese behemoth WeChat, it may let you reserve a table throughout Facebook instead of going right through an outside app or buy an Uber.
"Ideally face book will attempt to get yourself a cut of all transactions," Brookman explained. Electronic digital money of Facebook's very own is also rumored to be in the functions.
"Like many other companies face book is exploring strategies to leverage the power of blockchain engineering," Facebook said in a statement. "This new small team is exploring lots of unique applications. We don't have anything further to talk."
Asian shares ended up generally higher on Friday after a report implied that the leaders of China and the U.S. could be endorsing a trade deal in weeks. According to Bloomberg, U.S. officials are still preparing a final trade deal in front of the summit between President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, which could take place as soon as mid-March. It cited unnamed sources near the matter.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index picked up 1.1 percentage to 21,617.84 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng additional 0.4 percentage to 28,761.76. The Shanghai Composite index dropped straight back from ancient gains, edging up only 0.1 percent greater to 2,945.05 and Australia's S&P ASX/200 gained 0.6 percent to 6,202.40. Shares rose in Singapore and Indonesia but dropped in Malaysia. South Korean markets had been closed for any occasion season. Dealers expect that the tariffs battle waged by the planet's two greatest economies would soon be called off when your deal is attained.
Trump and Xi decided into some 90-day ceasefire in December soon right after raising import taxes on billions of dollars of each other's goods. The U.S. had been set to hit China with a fresh wave of tariffs once the agreement expires on Saturday. While progress on issues including Washington's unhappiness over Beijing's technology policy was slow, Trump said he will postpone the tariffs to give the countries more time to talk. He'd not state for how long.
Buying in Asia was supported by Means of an announcement by MSCI, a leading provider of indexes and analytics. MSCI claimed it will quadruple the weight of Chinese stocks in its own global indexes by November. It will likewise incorporate far alot additional Chinese stocks into the Emerging Markets Index, giving the nation's foreign inflows a much-needed boost.
A private poll also added into Chinese development expects. Even the Caixin manufacturing purchasing manager's index, which measures progress in the business, jumped to 49.9 in February, from 48.3 in the last month. The index is on the 100-point scale, and with fifty separating contraction from development. This comes after China's official manufacturing PMI fell 0.3 points to 49.2 in February, a three-year lower.
Currencies: The dollar strengthened to 111.71 yen from 111.39 yen on Thursday. The euro eased to $1.1370 from $1.1371.
Wallstreet: Stocks dropped Thursday on news that the U.S. economy slowed at the end of last year, although the performance still beat analysts' expectations. The country's gross domestic product expanded at a 2.6 per cent annual rate in the October-December period, down from 3.4 per cent in the next quarter. The S&P 500 index dropped 0.3 percent to 2,784.49 along with the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3 percentage to 25,916.00. The Nasdaq composite shed 0.3 percent to 7,532.53, whereas the Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks also dropped 0.3 percent to 1,575.55.
Energy: U.S. crude additional 2 3 cents to $57.45 each barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It finished 28 cents higher at $57.22 a cone overnight. Brent primitive, used to price-tag international oils, gained 31 cents to $66.62 per cone. The contract quit 27 cents to $66.31 in London.
The CES 2019 gadget show is revving up in Las Vegas. Below are the latest findings and observations from Associated Press reporters on the ground as technology's most significant trade event gets underway.
Tons of "smart" devices for their home, according to projections from a technology association. If that sounds a lot like last year, you're right, but earnings continue to be likely to grow again in 20-19.
The Consumer Technology Association anticipates nearly 37 million Amazon Echoes, Google Homes as well as other smart speakers to be sold this year in the U.S., just a 5-percent increase from a year ago. Meanwhile, a lot more than 29 million smart doorbells, thermostats and switches are required to be sold, a 23 percent increase from the prior year.
The amounts were published Sunday, two days before the CES 2019 gadget show opens to attendees in Las Vegas. CTA runs on the show, which is technology's largest trade gathering.
The group cautioned that its projections can vary significantly if your trade war with China escalates. Much of the world's electronics are assembled in China, and the CTA has said that steeper tariffs could hurt the industry by making smartphones or TVs more expensive for consumers.
Other gadgets expected to sell well in 20-19: wireless earbuds, smartwatches and drones. Fewer TVs are required to be sold, however 42 million units, a one-percent decline from 2018.
Complete U.S. tech revenue, which includes video and music streaming services such as Spotify, is forecast to rise 3.9 per cent to a record $398 billion this year, the CTA said. Ready for a smartphone-like touchscreen on your vehicle's steering wheel?
That's the future according to Chinese electric automobile maker Byton, that is planning to offer its initial vehicles in China this year and in the U.S. in 2020.
Byton CEO Carsten Breitfeld unveiled the new driver interface system Sunday at the CES 2019 gadget show in Las Vegas. He says the wheel-mounted touchscreen on the company's first version, called the M-Byte, "will stand still while the steering wheel rotates" The crossover SUV also features a long television display across its own dashboard.
Byton executives say they will have met with legal authorities in a variety of states to ensure the entertainment and control system meets safety standards. They say it's safer than dash touchscreens because the wheel in a driver's field of vision.
The vehicles are predicted to sell starting at $45,000. Even the world's largest tech conference is feeling the ramifications of the U.S. government shutdown.
Organizers of the CES gadget show said Saturday that some scheduled government speakers have canceled their travel plans. The sprawling consumer-electronics show opens to attendees on Tuesday in Las Vegas.
Canceled speakers include Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai and at nine other officials from agencies including the Federal Trade Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.
CES organizers state Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is still planning to send a keynote talk Wednesday on national initiatives to progress drone technology and self-driving vehicles.
The tiniest shutdown began Dec. 22, but some national workers remain on the job if they perform important activities that "protect life and property" Apple stopped attending the CES consumer-electronics show years ago, but it's still making its presence known.
The greatest might be the huge sign it splashed over a high-rise hotel overlooking the Las Vegas conference center where other tech companies are gathering to show their wares this week.
The hint says, "What happens on your iPhone, remains on your iPhone." It's really a not-so-subtle dig at the looser privacy practices of data-hungry rivals such as Google and Amazon.
But Apple also offers news to share at CES. It's just letting some of its partners do the talking. Samsung announced Sunday that its TVs will begin offering Apple's iTunes movies and television shows beginning this spring. It has a shift for Apple, that typically hasn't allowed its services to run on non-Apple hardware. (The big exception: I tunes on Windows PCs.)
After one year of legal sales, California's marijuana marketplace remains in transition, as companies adapt to new rules and black market operators continue to grow (pun intended). Here is a quick snapshot into the emerging legal economy. For 2018 the estimated sales at licensed dispensaries and distributors: $2.5 billion.
Breakdown of sales at dispensaries, by category:
Democratic Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams claimed success over Republican Rep. Mia Love Monday after new Salt Lake County results showed her trailing by 739 votes in the 4th Congressional District race. "I am eager to get to work," McAdams said at a hastily called news conference held at his Millcreek marketing campaign headquarters. He said he has not tried to contact the two-term congresswoman. "I really do want to give her the space," McAdams said, anticipating her effort required time and energy for you to review the quantities released Monday evening. "I think she's eligible to that."
Love's effort did not immediately react to McAdams' news conference. A day before counties have been put to reevaluate results of the Nov. 6 election, appreciate has 134,151 votes to 134,890 for McAdams throughout the district, which includes portions of Salt Lake and Utah counties as well as Juab and Sanpete counties.
Earlier Monday, really like had gained 2,224 votes in the conservative stronghold of Utah County to 1,127 for McAdams, expanding the lead that she first took within McAdams on Friday from 419 votes to 1,516 in the district. McAdams, who spent last week in Washington, D.C., attending the orientation for new members of Congress, tweeted Monday that clerks from Salt Lake and Utah counties "are working around the clock" to get votes counted accurately. He explained in his conversation, "Whatever the outcome, thank you! However, can we alter the loading screen on the county clerk page from Election Night Reporting into Election Month Reporting?"
Scott Hogensen, Utah County chief deputy clerk auditor, said Monday's launch is the last before counties certify election results on Tuesday. He explained "not significantly" remains to be counted other than any ballots that show up in the email box. A final vote canvass by their state is scheduled for Nov. 26. Utah doesn't have automatic recount legislation, but candidates who lose 0.25 percent or less can request that the ballots be recounted.
Love has recently challenged the vote-counting process in Salt Lake County, at which in fact the longtime county clerk, Sherrie Swensen, is a Democrat, but the litigation has been dismissed the afternoon when it was heard in third District Court last week. The issue raised by enjoy's attorneys during the hearing has been how the county matched voter signatures. Voters had before 5 pm Monday to respond to questions raised about their signatures from the clerk's office.
Additionally Monday, McAdams signed up a letter along with 1-5 Democratic House members pledging to vote against House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., becoming House speaker when Democrats take control in January.
During the effort, McAdams experienced promised he would not encourage the California Democrat Speaker because really like repeatedly informed voters voting for him was a vote for Pelosi. McAdams's effort manager, Andrew Roberts, said the letter was in keeping with his promise not to vote for Pelosi. "From the moment Ben got into the race,'' he is called for bipartisanship in Washington and has been clear about the demand for new leadership on each side of the aisle," Roberts said.
Record imports in Oct drove the U.S. trade shortage into the highest level in a decade. The Commerce Department said Thursday that the gap in between the United States sells and what exactly it purchases from foreign countries hit $55.5 billion in October, the fifth-largest consecutive increase and greatest since October 2008.
The politically significant deficit in the exchange of merchandise with China climbed 7.1percent to a record $43.1 billion. The goods gap with the European Union increased 65.5 percent to a file $17.6 billion. Directed by shipments of medicine and vehicles and trucks, overall imports climbed 0.2% to a file $266.5 billion. Exports fell 0.1% to $211 billion.
President Donald Trump campaigned on the pledge to slash America's longstanding trade deficit with the Remaining Portion of the Planet. Despite his import taxes on steel, aluminum and Chinese merchandise, the deficit up to now this year is running 11.4% previously mentioned January-October 20 17.
U.S. exports of soybeans, targeted for retaliatory tariffs by China, dropped 46.8% in oct. Trump sees the lopsided trade numbers as an indication of U.S. economic weakness and the result of awful exchange deals and abusive practices by U.S. trading partners, especially China.
He has slapped tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports in a dispute over the approaches Beijing is using to challenge American technological supremacy. These include the theft of trade strategies and forcing U.S. companies to pay technology in exchange for entry into the Chinese market, the U.S. expenses.
In a meeting over the weekend, Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping consented to a ceasefire in the trade dispute. Details are uncertain, but the White House claims that it decided to delay a projected tariff increase on $200 billion in Chinese goods for 90 times to buy time for much more purposeful negotiations.
Mainstream economists view trade shortages as the result of an economic fact unlikely to yield to changes in exchange coverage: Americans obtain more than they create, and imports fill the difference. The strong U.S. economy additionally encourages Americans to obtain greater foreign products.
U.S. exports will also be hurt from the American buck's role as the world's currency. The buck is usually in popular because it is used in numerous worldwide transactions. That means that the dollar is persistently strong, raising charges of U.S. products and putting American companies at a disadvantage in foreign exchange markets.
In October the U.S. conducted a 22.6 billion surplus in the trade of services such as banking and tourism. But that was offset by a listing $78.1 billion shortage in the trade of merchandise including as cellphones and machinery.
Poland's President Andrzej Duda and the first Lady will meet with President Donald Trump at the White House on Sept. 18, Duda's aide said Tuesday. U.S. First Woman Melania Trump will sponsor her Polish counterpart Agata Kornhauser-Duda for a meeting.
Krzysztof Szczerski said that Duda's very first visit for the White House will include one-on-one talks with Trump on security in Central Europe and on strengthening the U.S. army presence in the region, which is concerned about intensifying Russian army activity. Poland was seeking an increase in the number of U.S. soldiers stationed on its territory since early 2017. Broader talks will deal with commerce fractures and the partnership between our two NATO allies.
Duda will additionally meet with U.S. senators and toss an event on the occasion of a hundred years of Poland's independence, that has been retained as a result of its aid from President Woodrow Wilson.
A statement from the White House reported that the presidents "will deal with approaches to bolster the United States-Poland strategic partnership" and intend to discuss "military, trade, and security matters."
Poland has been Trump's first destination during his European trip last year and Poland's right-wing government attaches great importance to the relationship. One sore point is that the visa requirement for Poles going to the U.S. but Szczerski did not confirm that the matter will be discussed.
Jaimie Torres keeps a very close eye on her bank account which proved lucky a few weeks ago. She almost instantly noticed a surprise charge. $378 left her bank to some company she'd never heard of before called “Venmo.”
Venmo is an app that allows users to send and receive money transferred directly to or from the user’s bank account.
The transaction from Torres’ account is fraud, she said. Still, getting her money back wasn't easy.
"We tried calling Venmo, they just directed us to our lending institute."
Torres’ bank eventually gave her a refund and got her set up with a new bank account.
A spokesperson from Venmo (PayPal) wrote that "fraud prevention" is a "top priority for us."
Venmo also said that the solution to cybercrime and identity theft using its app is for consumers to do exactly what Torres did: watch her account closely and “immediately change their bank account username and password,” when fraud is detected.
But, all of this got Torres wondering: with the new slew of money-transfer-apps tied directly to the places we store our money, how safe are they?
Consumer Reports recently conducted a study, rating five of them, focusing on privacy and security.
They didn’t find any of the services were “so bad you shouldn’t use them.”
Still, there are differences consumers should know about. Apple Pay for instance was the only one to score top marks for data privacy. It tries to take the least amount of data and keep the least amount of data to keep your privacy protected.
However, it’s only available if both the sender and the receiver use an Apple smart phone, watch, or tablet—and a newer version at that.
In fact, that’s one thing to note with P2P in general. You have to use the same service to exchange funds.
“So if I have to have Zelle, you have to have Zelle,” was said of a similar money transfer app. “If I have to have Venmo, then you have to have Venmo as well.”
If you do sign up for a service, Consumer Reports recommends you opt for the highest app privacy and security settings possible. Adding, for instance, a PIN or fingerprint authentication is a good idea.
Also, as fun as the feed may be, with Venmo you should really set it to keep your transactions private!
Most importantly, Consumer Reports says these apps should NEVER be used to send money to strangers. You should only pay people that you know.