First quarter growth slows to 2.2%

A silver lining to the anemic growth; consumer spending rose faster than expected. Still, this is hardly good news when business spending falls 2.1% after roaring ahead at 5.2% in the fourth quarter of last year. And with consumer confidence tanking, and first time jobless claims spiking, the future looks just as dreary as the past. MSNBC: The Commerce Department, in its initial reading of how the economy fared as the new year began, reported Friday that gross domestic product expanded at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the first three months of the year. That's down from a 3.0 percent rate in the fourth quarter and below economists' expectations of a 2.5 percent pace. A surge in consumer spending took some of the sting from the report. Growth was still stronger than analysts' predictions early in the quarter for an expansion below 1.5 percent. "Certainly a bit of a mixed picture, a disappointment on the headline coming in at 2.2 versus expectations of 2.5....(Read Full Post)