WASHINGTON (4/30/15)--Real gross domestic product (GDP) growth inched higher by 0.2% in the first quarter, whiffing on consensus expectations of more than 1% growth, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis' advance estimate, released Wednesday.
GDP climbed 2.22% the prior quarter.
"U.S. economic expansion slowed even more than expected at the start of 2015, but the slowdown will prove temporary," said Scott Hoyt, Moody's analyst (Economy.com April 29), adding that bad winter weather took a sizable bite.
"The now-settled strike at West Coast ports was another drag," Hoyt said. "Negative fallout from the decline in oil prices has also hit the economy hard and quickly."
Despite the weak first-quarter performance, consumer spending posted a gain of 1.3%, following a 3% increase during the previous quarter.
All other major components pushed against GDP growth, however, with net exports down 1.2%, trade down 1%, and government spending down 0.15% on a quarterly basis.
"(Trade) will remain a drag for some time because of the rising dollar," Hoyt said.
On a positive note, GDP accelerated in the first quarter on an annual basis by 3%, the fastest annual increase since the fourth quarter of 2013.
Personal consumption expenditures, meanwhile, showed a deflation of 2% in the first quarter, driven by falling energy prices, according to Moody's. Excluding food and energy, inflation climbed 0.9%, a slight step back from the prior quarter.
Real disposable income climbed 6.2%, up from 3.6% the previous quarter, and personal saving rose to 5.5% from 4.6%, or the highest saving rate since 2012.