The latest economic figures released by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) indicate that real Gross Domestic Product increased % (annual rate) in the second quarter, in line with expectations. This represents an acceleration over the previous two quarters, each of which saw growth of below 2%. The bulk of last quarter's growth was due to personal consumption expenditures which contributed percentage points to this increase, while private nonresidential fixed investment contributed percentage points, on the strength of business' investment in industrial and information processing equipment. The past two quarters have been the strongest for business investment since 2014. The other components of GDP contributed little to last quarter's growth: net exports ( points), and government consumption and investment (), and change in private inventories ( points).
Prior to 1979, there were no formal announcements of business cycle turning points.
The NBER does not define a recession in terms of two consecutive quarters of decline in real GDP. Rather, a recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales. For more information, see the latest announcement from the NBER's Business Cycle Dating Committee, dated 9/20/10.
The unemployment rate is expected to edge down from percent in 2017 to percent in 2024 because factors associated with the persistently high long-term unemployment experienced in recent years are expected to have diminishing effects on the unemployment rate after 2017. As measured by the PCE price index, both inflation and core inflation (which excludes the prices of food and energy) are projected to average percent a year between 2018 and 2024. Interest rates on 3-month Treasury bills are projected to average percent during those years, and rates on 10-year Treasury notes are projected to average percent.