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Weather slows U.S. Economy in First Quarter.

Economic news for the month of March came in slightly weaker than expected, except for the housing sector which showed solid gains. The final revision to fourth quarter GDP showed that the economy grew 2.2%. This is unchanged from an earlier estimate released in February,but below expectations for 2.4% growth, and well below the 4.6% growth and 5.0% growth reported in the second and third quarters, respectively. While exports and consumer spending growth were both revised up, these were offset by a reduction in the contribution from inventory investment. It is widely expected that colder temperatures and significant snowfall in many parts of the country will impact first quarter GDP, similar to last year. Consensus estimates currently call for 2.4% growth in the first quarter of 2015. The latest Consumer Price Index report showed that prices increased 0.2% in February, with increases in shelter, energy, and food contributing to the rise. Excluding food and energy, core prices also rose 0.2% for the month.


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