The U.S. economy slowed less than initially anticipated, according to Thursday’s third GDP estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In this final estimate, GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.4 percent in the first quarter, an upward revision from previous estimates of 1.2 and 0.7 percent.
The upward revision was due mostly to a change in reported levels of consumer spending. Accounting for more than two thirds of economic activity in the U.S., consumer spending grew at a rate of 1.1 percent. This marks the weakest consumer showing in four years, but the final growth rate is almost double the initial estimate of 0.6 percent.
The final estimate also reflected positive contributions from nonresidential fixed investment, exports, PCE and residential fixed investment. These positive forces were somewhat offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment, federal government spending, and state and local government spending leading to a tepid, though stronger than anticipated level of growth in the first quarter.