Gross Domestic Product surges. Economic data ramps up next week. Gas prices at the pump unchanged.

Economic growth surged in the second quarter of 2018 due in part to a big rise in consumer spending. The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that Gross Domestic Product rose 4.1% from the 2.2% recorded in the first quarter, which was revised up from 2%. The 4.1% was in line with expectations. Within the report, it showed that consumer spending jumped 4 percent in the second quarter from the dismal 0.5% from the first quarter. Overall, it was a solid report. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period. It is considered the broadest measure of economic activity.

The investing community will have all eyes and ears glued to economic data next week as well as the Fed’s monetary policy statement being released on Wednesday. The week’s economic data includes reports on housing, manufacturing, consumer confidence, inflation and the granddaddy of all reports … the Jobs Report for July. The Jobs Report includes Non-Farm Payrolls and the Unemployment Rate. The two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting kicks off on Tuesday and ends Wednesday with the 2:00 p.m. ET release of the Fed statement.

Gas prices at the pumps remained unchanged from last week as we are now well into the summer driving season. The national average price for a regular gallon of gasoline is at $2.85 today, unchanged from last week and up from $2.28 a year ago. Prices should begin to ease a bit sometime in September when Americans get back from vacations, school begins and when motorists tend to drive less.