U.S. economic growth revised down to 2.2 pct in first quarter

BY  | FROM  | 2018-05-31 10:38
The U.S. economic growth was revised to an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the first quarter of the year, slightly lower than 2.3 percent previously estimated, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on Wednesday.

The general picture of economic growth remained the same in the first quarter as the downward revisions to private inventory investment, residential fixed investment, and exports were partly offset by an upward revision to nonresidential fixed investment, the department said in a report.

Personal consumption expenditures, which account for more than two thirds of the overall economy, grew at an annual rate of 1 percent in the first quarter, slightly lower than 1.1 percent earlier estimated, according to the department.

Nonresidential fixed investment, a measure of corporate spending on structures and equipment, grew at 9.2 percent in the first three months of the year, higher than 6.1 percent previously estimated.

While the first quarter growth rate was lower than the pace of 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, broader indicators suggest the U.S. economy remains on a solid footing so far this year.

The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rate "soon," if economic outlook was in line with expectation of Fed officials, according to the minutes for the central bank's latest policy meeting released last week.

"Most participants judged that if incoming information broadly confirmed their current economic outlook, it would likely soon be appropriate for the (Federal Open Market) Committee to take another step in removing policy accommodation," the minutes said.

Most economists and market participants are expecting the central bank to raise interest rates again at its next policy meeting scheduled on June 12-13. 
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