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US First Quarter 2023 GDP Upwardly Revised

FILE: Cargo containers sit stacked at the Port of Los Angeles, on Oct. 20, 2021, in San Pedro, Calif. On June 29, 2023 the U.S. Commerce Departyment upwardly revised first-quarter GDP to 2%.

WASHINGTON — U.S. economic growth came in at two percent in the first quarter this year, the Commerce Department said Thursday, in a revision of official data boosted in part by consumer spending.

While U.S. GDP growth has still cooled from 2.6 percent in the final three months of 2022, the latest first quarter figure - 2% - is markedly higher than the annual rate of 1.1 percent initially estimated.

"The updated estimates primarily reflected upward revisions to exports and consumer spending," said the Commerce Department in its report.

Analysts had expected a lower annual rate of 1.3 percent, according to

The Commerce Department added Thursday that the shift upwards was partly offset by downward revisions in other areas, such as non-residential fixed investment.

Consumption has provided a boost to the U.S. economy, giving it a strong start in 2023 even as banking sector turmoil and higher interest rates weighed on the outlook.

This was in spite of 10 consecutive rate hikes by the U.S. central bank over the past year or so - to ease demand and rein in stubborn inflation - before pausing at its most recent meeting.

"The U.S. economy is currently displaying genuine signs of resilience," said Gregory Daco, chief economist at EY-Parthenon in a note.

"This is leading many to rightly question whether the long-forecast recession is truly inevitable," he added.

Instead, another possibility is a "soft landing of the economy" where inflation falls to a two percent pace without a recession, he said.

But analysts flag risks on the horizon, with High Frequency Economics chief U.S. economist Rubeela Farooqi noting that the lagged effects of the Federal Reserve's rate hikes will slow the economy.

There are also risks from "a further tightening in credit conditions, which will have an impact on business hiring and investment decisions," she said in a note.

But a strong household sector supported by job growth could help the U.S. economy avoid a contraction, Farooqi added.