Weak Business Investment, Consumer Spending Dim Robust Growth Hopes

The U.S. economy slowed less than initially thought in the first quarter, but softening business investment and moderate consumer spending are clouding expectations of a sharp acceleration in the second quarter.

Gross domestic product increased at a 1.2 percent annual rate instead of the 0.7 percent pace reported last month, the Commerce Department said on Friday in its second GDP estimate for the first three months of the year.

That was the worst performance in a year and followed a 2.1 percent growth rate in the fourth quarter.

“Economic indicators so far aren’t entirely convincing on a second-quarter bounce in activity and show a U.S. economy struggling to surprise on the upside,” said Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West in San Francisco.

The first-quarter weakness is a blow to President Donald Trump’s ambitious goal to sharply boost economic growth.

During the 2016 presidential campaign Trump had vowed

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