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North American GDP Falls In Q1

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North American GDP Falls In Q1

The US Bureau of Economic Analysis has just published the official Gross Domestic Product measurement for the world’s largest economy. It has to be noted that these are preliminary figures and may be subject to some later revisions. Annualized expansion of the US economy was just 0.1% at the end of the first quarter of this year, this compares with 2.6% last quarter, market economists had agreed a prediction of 1.2% on this figure, this is low primarily due to the slow start to this year caused by the overly harsh winter.

Also published was the Gross Domestic Product Price Index, this inflationary measure came in at 1.3%, down on the previous quarterly reading of 1.6%, market consensus estimates were also for a reading of 1.6%.

Further completing the US inflationary picture was the publication of the Employment Cost Index, this fell slightly to 0.3% from the prior quarter number of 0.5%, again estimates were consistent with prior at 0.5%.

The Consumer Price Index proxy of the Personal Consumption Expenditure Prices Index has shown growth of 1.4% quarter on quarter, this is higher than the Q4 2013 reading of 1.1% and exactly at the expected 1.4%. The more stable Core Personal Consumption Expenditure Prices Index has been measured at 1.3% quarter on quarter, no change here from the previous quarter reading of 1.3% but slightly higher than the 1.2% consensus estimate.

The neighboring country of Canada also published some headline data at the same time as the US. The final Canadian GDP month on month reading for February fell to 0.2% from 0.5% the previous month, this missed the consensus estimate of 0.5%. An indication of the Canadian inflation situation was also made available through the publication of the March Industrial Product Price Index and the Raw Material Price Index, these came in at 0.4% and 0.6% respectively, both slightly below their previous months readings.

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