Latest figures show economy grew at solid pace in first quarter

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that economic growth in the United States continued at a strong rate at the start of 2019, with the latest estimate of 3.1 percent growth, up from a slower growth rate of 2.2 percent in the last three months of 2018.

The second estimate of growth in the first three months of this year was down slightly from last month's initial estimate of 3.2 percent, slightly above the 2.9 percent growth registered for all of 2018.

"I think things are going very well," President Trump told reporters at the White House just as the GDP numbers were released. "The economy is doing fantastically well, beyond any expectation."

GDP growth has been up and down during President Trump's two-plus years in office, jumping to over 4 percent in the second quarter of 2018, but slumping the rest of the year - then going back up at the start of 2019.

Some economists are predicting a similar type of spike-and-fall this year, believing growth will slow in the second quarter, and end up smaller than the 2.9 percent rate in 2018.

Earlier this week, a new report for Congress raised questions about whether the tax cuts backed by the GOP and President Trump would have much impact on growth in the U.S.

"There is no indication of a surge in wages in 2018 either compared to history or relative to GDP growth," the Congressional Research Service stated.

For GOP lawmakers in Congress, the latest GDP numbers though confirmed that things are going in the right direction.

"Once again, our economy beat all expectations thanks to Republican’s pro-growth agenda," said Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN).

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