The US economy stalled in the first quarter this year, expanding at an annual pace of just 0.2 percent, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

In a period beset by an extremely cold winter and the West Coast port strike, growth was held down by a slowdown in exports, consumer spending, private investment and government spending, the department said.

A low number was anticipated after the modest 2.2 percent expansion of the final quarter of last year, but economists on average expected the economy to have achieved 1.0 percent growth in the January-March period.

The growth data made it more likely that the Federal Reserve, slated to announce an update to monetary policy later Wednesday, will keep its plans to raise interest rates on pause for a little longer to be sure the January-March downturn was an aberration and that the economy has the strength to resume solid growth in the current quarter.

“A stalling of US economic growth at the start of the year rules out any imminent hiking of interest rates by the Fed,” said economist Chris Williamson at Markit.

“The slowdown looks temporary, as a rebound from the first-quarter weakness is already being signaled by forward-looking survey data, but the sustainability of any upturn is by no means convincing yet.”

 

AFP

Advertisements
Share this article:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Notice: All comments represent the view of the commenter and not necessarily the views of AMN.

All comments that are not spam or wholly inappropriate are approved, we do not sort out opinions or points of view that are different from ours.

This is a Civilized Place for Public Discussion

Please treat this discussion with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.

These are not hard and fast rules, merely guidelines to aid the human judgment of our community and keep this a clean and well-lighted place for civilized public discourse.

Improve the Discussion

Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.

Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree

You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. But remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:

  • Name-calling
  • Ad hominem attacks
  • Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content
  • Knee-jerk contradiction

Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.