News Summary: US economy grew at 2.4 percent rate

News Summary: US economy grew at 2.4 percent annual rate in first quarter, helped by consumers

Associated Press

GROWTH SLOWER: The U.S. economy grew at a modest 2.4 percent annual rate from January through March, according to the government's second estimate. That's slightly slower than 2.5 percent rate reported last month but stronger than the 0.4 percent rate in the October-December quarter.

COMPONENTS: Consumer spending grew at the fastest pace in more than two years and was even stronger than first estimated. But the gain was offset by slower businesses stockpiling and deeper cuts in state and local government spending.

OUTLOOK: Economists believe growth is slowing to around a 2 percent rate in the April-June quarter, as the economy adjusts to federal spending cuts and higher taxes. Still, many say the decline may not be as severe as once thought because solid hiring and surging home prices should keep consumers spending.

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