US economy likely rebounded in first quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — A survey of what economists expect the U.S. did in the first quarter of the year suggests there was a growth spurt, but that it won’t last.

Economists surveyed by FactSet predict that the overall economy grew at an annual rate of 3.1 percent in the January-March quarter, propelled by a revival in housing, steady consumer spending and increased stockpiling by businesses. That would be a significant improvement from the anemic 0.4 percent growth rate reported for the October-December quarter.

But broad government spending cuts and higher taxes have begun to weigh on the economy, making some consumers and businesses cautious and slowing growth.

A 3.1 percent growth rate would match the robust pace of the July-September quarter last year.

The Commerce Department will release the report at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

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