Weekly Market Thought of the Week – 2018 Year in Review & Market Outlook

The U.S. labor market was solid throughout 2018, with 2.6 million jobs added during the year, compared to a gain of 2.2 million in 2017. The unemployment rate ended the year (as of November 2018) at 3.7%, which was lower than the 4.1% rate at the close of 2017. A strong job market, along with fiscal tax cuts passed in late 2017, helped drive economic growth as measured by the gross domestic product (GDP), which expanded through the year, increasing at an annual rate of 3.4%. Gross domestic product measures what the economy produces, such as goods and services. GDP growth rate in the U.S has averaged 3.22% from 1947 to 2018, making 2018 a strong year for the U.S. economy.