U.S. economic growth slowed less sharply in the first quarter than initially thought, but the weakness was likely an aberration amid a strong labor market that is near full employment.
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 in its second estimate on Friday.
That was the weakest performance since the first quarter of 2016 and followed a 2.1 percent rate of expansion in the fourth quarter. The government revised up its initial estimate of consumer spending growth, but said inventory investment was far smaller than previously reported.
The sluggish first-quarter growth pace is, however, probably not a true reflection of the economy’s health. GDP for the first three months of the year tends to underperform because of difficulties with the calculation of data that the government has acknowledged and is working to resolve.