US Q1 GDP almost at a standstill but Fed continue to taper

Overnight the first (of three) estimates of US GDP growth in the first quarter came in well below expectations at +0.1% annualised (down from +2.6% in the previous quarter). While markets had expected a slowdown caused by the severe winter weather, the actual result was weaker than most had anticipated. 
Nevertheless, all the signs are that growth picked up in Q2 and the Fed therefore had no problem with continuing to taper their bond buying program. The Fed reduced the scale of buying to $45bn per month (from $55bn) as expected. The accompanying statement noted that “Information received since the FOMC met in March indicates that growth in economic activity has picked up recently, after having slowed sharply during the winter in part because of adverse weather conditions”.

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