US economy

US economic growth slows more than expected in first quarter


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US economic growth slows more than expected in first quarter

FILE PHOTO: The Charging Bull or Wall Street Bull is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 16, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo


The US economy grew by 1.6% in the first quarter of 2024, missing expectations, but still outperforms other advanced countries

WASHINGTON, USA – US economic growth slowed more than expected in the first quarter, but an acceleration in inflation suggested that the Federal Reserve would not cut interest rates before September.

Gross domestic product increased at a 1.6% annualized rate last quarter, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis said in its advance estimate of first-quarter GDP on Thursday, April 25. Growth was largely supported by consumer spending.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast GDP rising at a 2.4% rate, with estimates ranging from a 1.0% pace to a 3.1% rate. The economy grew at a 3.4% rate in the fourth quarter. It is expanding at a pace above what US central bank officials regard as the non-inflationary growth rate of 1.8%.

The International Monetary Fund last week upgraded its forecast for 2024 US growth to 2.7% from the 2.1% projected in January, citing stronger-than-expected employment and consumer spending. Job gains in the first quarter averaged 276,000 per month versus the October-December quarter’s average of 212,000.

The economy has defied prophecies of doom since late 2022 following the Fed’s aggressive rate hiking campaign to stamp out inflation. The United States is outperforming other advanced economies. Consumers locked in lower mortgage rates, while businesses refinanced debt before the tightening cycle began, economists say. –

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