Should we be surprised?

History tells us that recessions are followed by booms. The deeper the recession, the stronger the boom. The recent economic period has been unusual for seeing the worse recession since the 1930s, followed by a very shallow recovery. Maybe the latest data is telling us that history is simply re-asserting itself.

There is a bigger point. If the extraordinary advances we are seeing in technology: AI, additive manufacturing, IoT, and so on, does not create a boom, something is very wrong.

But not all are so upbeat.

Paul Ashworth, Chief US Economist at Capital Economics said that he expects growth to continue at this kind of pace next year, but slow sharply in 2019.

Stimulus and the FED

Two other factors come into play. President Trump is still pushing for a $1.5 trillion stimulus programme - it is difficult to quantify the implications of this, should it happen. It may boost the economy too much, creating inflation, or may support what has become known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, ensuring demand across the economy grows in tandem with the extra productive potential that technology should (in theory) create.

Then there is the FED, which may increase rates later today. Although with an announcement pending on the identity of the next FED chair, it may delay a decision to the next meeting.