Economy Picked Up In First Quarter: Grew At 2.5 Percent Pace | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Economy Picked Up In First Quarter: Grew At 2.5 Percent Pace

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2013, the Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated Friday morning.

That's modest growth, and was below the 3.2 percent pace economists had expected to hear about. But growth was up substantially from fourth-quarter 2012, when the economy expanded at a scant 0.4 percent annual rate.

The agency will issue revised estimates of first-quarter growth in each of the next two months, so the figure could change. The agency initially reported, for example, that gross domestic product shrank at a 0.1 percent annual rate in fourth-quarter 2012. Then it said there was 0.1 percent growth. On its third swing at the figures, it came up with the 0.4 percent estimate. The figures shift as more information comes in.

We'll have more from the report and reactions to it as the morning continues.

Update at 8:55 a.m. ET. Not Much Real Change?

According to MarketWatch:

"The acceleration in growth in the early stages of the year stood in sharp contrast to the paltry 0.4% increase in gross domestic product in the fourth quarter of 2012. Yet the underlying strength of demand for U.S.-made goods and services was actually weaker in the first quarter. So-called real final sales rose just 1.5% — matching the smallest increase in two years.

"The softness in demand suggests little change in the overall pace of U.S. growth once unusual factors are stripped out. The economy has been expanding at about a 2% clip for the past two years."

Update at 8:45 a.m. ET. News Could "Weigh On Stocks":

"Given the smaller-than-expected increase and signs the economy has weakened in recent weeks, the GDP data will probably weigh on U.S. stocks," Reuters writes. "It could also give ammunition for the Federal Reserve to maintain its monetary stimulus."

Update at 8:40 a.m. ET. Consumer Spending Was Critical:

Growth was "buoyed by the strongest consumer spending in more than two years," The Associated Press writes. "The strength offset further declines in government spending that are expected to drag on growth throughout the year."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Handmade Signs From Homeless People Lead To Art, Understanding

Artist Willie Baronet is on a 24-city, 31-day trek across the country this month, buying handmade signs from homeless people. He says the project has changed the way he views homelessness.
NPR

You'll Be Maaaaaaaad About Goat If You Follow This Chef's Recipe

Goat — it's the other red meat! And it's easy to mess up. Kenyan-born Kevin Onyona reveals the secrets to a tender yet hearty stew: You've got to break down that meat, and you've got to give it love.
WAMU 88.5

McDonnell Corruption Trial Begins Monday

It's a first for the Commonwealth of Virginia on Monday, as Bob McDonnell becomes the first governor of Old Dominion to face potential jail time.

NPR

What It's Like To Own Your Very Own Harrier Jump Jet

The Harrier Jump Jet is known for vertical take-offs and landings. It also has an accident-prone track record, but that didn't dissuade one pilot from buying his dream plane.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.