The U.S. economy is growing at a 0.3 percent annualized rate in the first quarter, based on data on domestic construction spending in December released on Monday, the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow forecast model showed. This matched the pace for first-quarter gross domestic product that the Atlanta Fed’s GDP program calculated on Friday. U.S. nonresidential structures investment is likely 2.7 percent lower in the first quarter from a prior estimate of a 0.8 percent drop, while residential investment is expected to fall 11.0 percent from a projected 13.2 percent decline calculated on Friday, the regional central bank said. Earlier Monday, the Commerce Department said construction spending declined 0.6 percent after an unrevised 0.8 percent increase in November. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast construction spending rising 0.2 percent in December. Fourth-quarter GDP expanded at a 2.6 percent pace in the fourth quarter, bringing the annual growth rate to 2.9 percent in 2018. The next GDPNow update is Wednesday, March 6.
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