US Economy Grows Slowly, But at Faster Pace Than First Thought

The U.S. economy expanded at a slightly faster pace than first estimated during the first quarter of this year.

The Commerce Department’s Friday report shows expansion at a 1.2 percent annual rate in January, February and March. That is nearly twice as fast as the preliminary estimate, but slower than the end of last year, and much more slowly than the 3 percent rate of expansion that the Trump administration says it will achieve.

Officials routinely revise growth estimates as more complete data becomes available.

Many experts say the economy is growing slowly because aging baby boomers are leaving the work force to retire, and productivity growth has been disappointingly slow.

The chief economist of PNC Bank, Gus Faucher, says growth is “bouncing back” in the second quarter. Faucher says he expects the U.S. economic growth will bounce around somewhat and expand at a 2.3 percent rate this year. Faucher also expects the growth rate to be about the same next year. 

A separate report shows new orders for manufactured goods declined in April. The seven-tenths of a percent decrease followed several months of gains.

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