Analyst forecasts had estimated a 3.00% growth rate, but the final figures came in at 2.5%
The US economy grew at an annualised rate of 2.5% in the first three months of the year, supported by the strongest consumer spending figures in two years.
While the growth figure was lower than analysts’ expectations, it was better than the 0.4% rate recorded in the final quarter of last year.
Consumer spending rose at an annualised rate of 3.2%.
But government spending cuts, particularly in defence, held growth back.
Part of the pick up in growth was due to US farmers filling up grain silos following last year’s devastating drought. Removing these inventories, GDP growth was closer to 1.5%.
The figures could renew calls for the Federal Reserve to maintain its monetary stimulus programme of quantitative easing. The central bank meets next week and it is widely predicted that it will stick to its $85bn-a-month bond-buying schedule.
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