Farm Bureau sees dark signs behind economic news |

Farm Bureau sees dark signs behind economic news

The U.S. general economic growth rate of 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019 is good news, but beneath that statistic there are reasons for concern, the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Market Intel service said Tuesday.

“Personal expenditures have now been declining for the last three quarters,” Bob Young, former Farm Bureau chief economist, wrote in an analysis for Market Intel. “There has been only one quarter since 2015 with lower growth in consumer spending than the first quarter of 2019, and that was the first quarter of 2018. Is this a new annual pattern, or is this year-long trend of declining growth in consumer spending a darker sign?” Young wrote.

In addition, Young wrote, “The investment figures are also worrisome. With the biggest contributor to the growth of that component coming from inventory build, weakness is showing in a second component of core GDP.”

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