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the US economy stepped on the gas pedal in the first quarter of the year data released Friday showed the US economy grew at a three point two percent annual rate in the first three months of two thousand nineteen which was faster than expected pretty impressive if you remember what the economy had to grapple with at the start of the year the tail end of a partial government shutdown a weather phenomenon known as the polar vortex and a lot of angst in financial markets I'm coming into New York while this pickup in economic activity is nothing to frown at there are some things which take some of the bloom off of the rose first of all the consumer is the most important part of this economy and consumer spending slowed in the first quarter it was less than half the rate than what we saw in the quarter before that also business spending on equipment was almost zero it grew at its slowest rate in more than two years so that left the economy to rely on temporary factors like a swing and exports as many factors tried to beat the clock on another possible round of tariffs the economy also saw a boost from a rebound in state and local government spending that's enough juice to keep the economy on track for the longest expansion on record the latest numbers are not likely to shake the federal reserve which has already said interest rate hikes are on pause for the rest of the year