Slow Growth for US Economy in 1st Quarter
Hidden among the more publicized data in the report were the following facts:
- Personal income grew by $58.7 billion or 2.4 percent in the first quarter 2005 compared with $253.4 billion or 11.9 percent in the final quarter of 2004.
- Personal taxes increased $17.6 billion last quarter, down slightly from $20.6 billion the previous quarter.
- Real personal disposable income fell 0.3 percent from January to March in contrast to an 8.3 percent increase between October and December.
- Personal saving declined to 0.6 percent or $52 billion in the first quarter from 1.6 percent or $145 billion the previous quarter.
Personal expenditures on housing, household operation (other than electricity and gas) and medical care surpassed those of the previous quarter as well.
“America’s economy continues to grow on a steady and sustainable path of expansion. Businesses continue to spend and invest and more Americans are working today than ever before. Our economy has kept a solid pace of growth for the past two years. Our growth for this quarter of 3.1 percent comes on top of last year’s strong 4.4 percent growth. But there is still more work to do.” Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez said in a written statement.
A growth rate of 3.1 percent is the slowest first quarter growth rate since 2003.