First-quarter GDP figures are typically lower because of seasonal adjustments, as was the case with the first-quarter of 2016 and 2017.
Goods spending declined 1.1 percent at the annual rate in the first quarter, pulling back from the 7.8 percent gain in the fourth quarter (the strongest quarterly gain in almost 12 years).
A final point: The Commerce Department report makes it clear that its initial report is "based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency", and a second take on first quarter growth will be released on May 30.
On the worldwide front, net exports swung back to be a positive contributor in the first quarter, adding 0.20 percentage points, after subtracting 1.16 percentage points from GDP in the fourth quarter. Today's growth reading is the first...
The figure, which was higher than analysts had expected, is down from 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter of past year.
Strong business investment helped offset consumer pullback. That's higher than economists had predicted, and a slight slowdown from the 2.9 percent rate estimated for the prior quarter.
A separate Labor Department report Friday showed that a broad measure of employee compensation rose more than expected in the first quarter, adding to signs that the tight job market is supporting a pickup in pay.
Mueller Bill Passes Senate Committee Without McConnell's Blessing
Grassley said role of the Congress is to "effectively check the other branches" and that the bill fulfills that responsibility. A handful of Republicans supported the bill, but most have opposed it, arguing that it is unconstitutional or unnecessary.
The Trump administration has promised 3 percent GDP growth or better, due in large part to the tax cuts that were passed late a year ago.
Personal consumption expenditures, which account for more than two thirds of the overall economy, grew at an annual rate of 1.1 per cent in the first quarter, down from 4 per cent in the previous quarter. The economy may expand 2.8 percent in 2018, according to the median of forecasts compiled by Bloomberg, before slowing in the following two years.
Federal Reserve officials are likely to shrug off the first-quarter performance. It also boosted its forecast for 2019 from a meager 1.5% to a respectable 2.4%.
Businesses buying less equipment also held back the rate of growth. Private-sector wages and salaries advanced 2.9% from a year earlier, the most of the expansion, after a 2.8% increase. And we won't know the answer to that question for several years at least.
Consumer spending in the last quarter was undercut by a decline in purchases of motor vehicles, clothing and footwear as well as a slowdown in food and beverages outlays. The core PCE price index rose at a 1.9 percent pace in the fourth quarter. Residential construction increased at a 12.8 percent rate in the October-December period. Spending is expected to accelerate in the second quarter after the U.S. Congress recently approved more government spending.
Nonresidential fixed investment, or spending on equipment, structures and intellectual property, increased at a still-solid 6.1 percent annualized pace, contributing 0.76 percentage point to growth.
The program, which offers speedier delivery of purchases and other perks, will cost $119 a year in the US beginning May 11, up from the $99-a-year rate available since 2014, the company disclosed Thursday on a conference call with financial analysts after reporting quarterly earnings.