U.S. economic growth cooled in the first quarter as businesses cut back on investment and restocked shelves at a moderate pace, but stronger demand for automobiles softened the blow
Consumer spending which accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, increased at a 2.9 percent rate - the fastest pace since the fourth quarter of 2010. That compared to a 2.1 percent rise in the fourth quarter.
But business spending fell for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2009, with investment in equipment and software rising at its slowest pace since the recession ended.
Business spending fell at a 2.1 percent pace after rising 5.2 percent in the fourth quarter.
The report will probably not change views on monetary policy. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday expressed comfort with the current stance of Fed policy, but held out the prospect of more bond buying if the economy deteriorated.