Source: New York Times

“The American economy slowed at the end of 2018 – and there could be a further slowdown to come. Gross domestic product – the broadest measure of goods and services produced in the United States – grew at a 2.6 percent annual rate in the final three months of last year, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That marks a significant slowdown from the middle of the year, when a sugar high fueled by tax cuts and government spending increases briefly pushed growth above 4 percent. This year looks to be off to an even worse start. Many economists expect growth to drop below 2 percent in the first quarter, in part because of the partial government shutdown, which began in December and extended through most of January….’The economy’s already slowing and there are a bunch of reasons why it could slow down even more, and that just makes you vulnerable,’ said Mr. Alexander of Nomura. ‘It would take less of a shock to push you over the edge’ into a recession. It might not even take a shock at all. If businesses and consumers get nervous about the economy, that could set in motion a vicious cycle of reduced spending and job cuts, said Lindsey Piegza, chief economist for the financial services firm Stifel. ‘The recession is almost going to sneak up on us,’ she said.”

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