The US economy increased 7.8% in the third quarter of 2018 compared with the previous quarter.
That’s the best quarterly growth in nearly four years, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.
But the economy’s expansion was driven mostly by consumer spending and a stronger dollar, and that is the main driver of the 6.3% jump in retail sales.
Consumer spending is the only type of economic activity that has picked up since the recession began in 2009.
“The biggest contributor to the 7.0% growth was consumer spending, which grew by 2.6%, or 7.6% of GDP, after a year of stagnation,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement.
The Commerce Department is expected to release its annual report on Tuesday.
The economy is expected in the second quarter to show a decline in GDP of 1.2% and 0.6 percentage points, the biggest drop since early 2009, the first quarter of the Great Recession.
The second quarter’s growth is still the largest since the last quarter of 2017.