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Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by a surprisingly stronger-than-expected annualized pace of 2.3% in the first quarter of 2018, representing the best first-quarter growth in three years. Meanwhile, muted wage growth reinforced the Fed’s gradual approach to raising interest rates.
The slight acceleration in GDP growth came from stronger numbers in consumer spending and rising inventories. We expect economic growth to increase in the first half of 2018 due to tax cuts with a possible slowdown in the second half of the year.
In February, the S&P suffered its worst month in two years, falling 3.9%. Key data points and historical precedents suggest this is due to nervousness surrounding the new Fed chairman and potential rate hikes.
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