GDP Rises 4.2%

The nation’s real gross domestic product (GDP), the output of goods and services within the country, increased at an annual rate of 4.2% in the first quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The annual growth rate was up slightly from the previous quarter’s 4.1% rate. Personal consumption expenditures grew 2.65%, reflecting a 1.28% increase in nondurable goods as consumers bought more

The nation’s real gross domestic product (GDP), the output of goods and services within the country, increased at an annual rate of 4.2% in the first quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The annual growth rate was up slightly from the previous quarter’s 4.1% rate.

Personal consumption expenditures grew 2.65%, reflecting a 1.28% increase in nondurable goods as consumers bought more food and clothes and a 1.77% increase in services such as medical care. Consumers held off on big-ticket items such as motor vehicles, furniture and household equipment, however, as durable goods dipped 0.4%.

Gross private domestic investment rose 1.12%, suggesting businesses are continuing to spend on equipment and software, with a 0.88% increase; and consumers continued to buy homes, with a 0.11% residential increase.

Government spending increased 0.37% as federal expenditures rose 0.67%. Spending for national defense increased 0.66% and nondefense spending remained relatively stagnant, with a 0.02% rise. State and local governments demonstrated fiscal restraint as spending dropped 0.3%.

Net exports of goods and services, spurred by the weak dollar, rose 0.02%. Exports gained while imports— a subtraction in calculating GDP— dropped.

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