Connect to share and comment

US first quarter economic growth weaker than expected

The first quarter growth in the US has been revised downward, with the GDP expanding at a tepid 1.8 percent annual rate.

Global stock market selling off june 20 2013Enlarge
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on June 20, 2013 in New York City. In Wall Street's worst day of the year, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 300 points, or two percent. (Spencer Platt/AFP/Getty Images)

The United States' economic growth proved to be weaker than expected, a first-quarter report revealed, with GDP growing only 1.8 percent annually and very moderate increase in consumer spending. 

The Commerce Department has revised the annual growth rate down twice after an initial reading of 2.5 percent growth in the first quarter, the Los Angeles Times reported — although growth is expected to pick up in the second quarter as the market adjusts to changes in taxation and federal spending cuts. 

Read more from GlobalPost: World stock markets stabilize after reacting poorly to Federal Reserve's policies

The government had projected a growth in consumer spending of 3.4 percent, but were confronted with an increase of a mere 2.6 percent, although the figure still beats those seen in late 2012, noted USA Today. 

Business investment was also much lower than expected, increasing by only 0.4 percent, down from an estimated 2.2 percent increase. 

The news of anemic US GDP growth comes only days after a worldwide stock market tumble on June 20th, precipitated by Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernake's announcement that his agency's economic stimulus would begin to wind down, likely ending by 2014. 

That might be good news for market-watchers, who are wondering if the less-than-inspiring quarterly report will help to keep the stimulus running.

"This gives (the market) hopes that the Fed won't be tapering as aggressively," said economic strategist Craig Dismuke to Reuters.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130626/us-first-quarter-economic-growth-weaker-expected