Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at a 4.1 percent annual rate in the second quarter, the strongest pace since a 4.9 percent rate in the third quarter of 2014. (Growth had been 5.1 percent in the second quarter.) By far the largest contributor to this growth was a 4.0 percent rate of increase in consumption spending. This was a bounce back from the first quarter when growth was just 0.5 percent. Durable goods consumption (primarily cars) were the biggest part of this story, with spending rising at a 9.3 percent annual rate.
Nonresidential investment grew at a healthy 7.3 percent annual rate. This brought the investment share of GDP to 13.6 percent, although it is still below the prerecession peak of 13.7 percent and far below the levels hit in the 1990s boom or the 1970s. The largest contributor to this growth was structure investment, which rose at a 13.3 percent rate after rising at a 13.9 percent rate in the first quarter. By contrast, equipment investment rose at just a 3.9 percent rate. This is not a story very consistent with tax cut driven investment, since structure investment generally takes far longer to plan than equipment investment.
It is likely that almost all of the structure spending in this quarter or the prior quarter was planned long before the details of the tax cut were known.