Growth in U.S. Trails Forecasts as Defense Spending Falls

Gross domestic product rose at a 2.5 percent annualized rate following a 0.4 percent fourth-quarter advance, according to data from the Commerce Department issued today in Washington. The median estimate of 86 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 3 percent gain.

Another report today showed consumer confidence fell in April, signaling that households, which sustained spending last quarter by dipping into savings, may not be able keep shopping at the same pace as tax increases start to pinch. Across-the board cutbacks in federal government spending that took effect in March will also take a toll on growth…more

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