The U.S. economy expanded at a rate of 2.9% in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday, much better than Wall Street analysts expected and very close to President Donald Trump’s goal of 3 percent growth.
The strong growth came largely from Americans opening their wallets to spend more. Consumption accounts for about 70% of the U.S. economy, and as more Americans get jobs, they are able to buy more online and at stores.
Businesses also boosted their spending at the end of last year, beefing up their inventories as executives expect sales to pick up. There was also more federal government spending, especially on defense, according to the report.