Posted at 16:40h
by Sam Bass Jr.
In a busy week for economic reports, the standout was that the US economy contracted in the first quarter by a 2.9% annualized rate, the most since the depths of the last recession. According to Bloomberg, it marked the biggest downward revision from the agency’s second GDP estimate since records began in 1976. The revision reflected slowdowns in consumer and health care spending. Many economists are saying the drop was not reflective of the broader fundamentals, blaming much of the decline on weather. Maybe, but consumers don't appear to be buying it. Real consumer spending was down 0.2% in April and 0.1% in May, and the weather was good. Durable goods (designed to last long periods) orders were much weaker than expected for May as they fell 1.0% in May after rising 0.8% in April. Transportation was the largest contributor to the decline falling 3.0% after a 1.7% rise in April.