The Federal Reserve is hoping that its latest interest-rate cut will help keep the economy safely at cruising altitude. But don’t expect it to provide much of a lift to the housing market. Few economists expect the housing market to take off in response to this week’s rate cut, because rates aren’t what was holding back housing in the first place. Instead, they point to other factors.
The American economy is slowing, dragged down by trade tensions and weak growth overseas. But there are few signs that the decade-long expansion is on the verge of stalling out.Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced in the economy, rose at a 2.1 percent annual rate in the second quarter, according to preliminary data released by the Commerce Department on Friday.
When the Trump administration first imposed tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports in July, Andy LaFrazia figured it was just another curveball for his company. “Everyone was saying: ‘Oh, it’s a negotiating tactic. It won’t last long,’” Mr. LaFrazia recalled. But nearly a year later, the trade war shows no sign of cooling off. Evidence is mounting that the conflict has taken an economic toll.
Economic growth surged in the second quarter — but don’t expect the boom to last. The second-quarter acceleration was widely anticipated by economists, a result of a confluence of events unlikely to recur. Most economists expect growth to slow in the second half of the year. Still, recent data does suggest that the pace of growth has picked up this year.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which President Trump signed into law in December, did not directly affect state budgets. It cut federal tax rates, but also made other changes that mean more income will be subject to taxation. Because most states use federal definitions of income and have not adjusted their own rates, the federal changes will have big consequences for both state budgets and taxpayers.